South Carolina overwhelmed by No. 1 Tar Heels
South Carolina was overwhelmed by top-ranked North Carolina from
The Gamecocks fell behind by 15 points early and never recovered
in an 87-62 loss to the Tar Heels in the third round of the Las
Vegas Invitational on Friday night.
”They’re really talented,” South Carolina coach Darrin Horn
said of the Tar Heels. ”They’re long and athletic. They have a
great scorer in Barnes and Marshall dishes a great game.”
RJ Slawson led South Carolina (2-3) with career highs of 13
points and 14 rebounds, and had four blocks. Daimen Leonard and
Malik Cooke each had 12 points, and Anthony Gill added 10 points
and six rebounds.
The Gamecocks had 25 turnovers to only 10 for North
”The story was turnovers,” Horn said. ”It’s plain and
On Saturday, South Carolina will play Southern California, which
lost to UNLV 66-55 earlier on Friday.
North Carolina never trailed, jumping out to a 19-4 lead. The
Tar Heels made it 27-10, with P.J. Hairston scoring those next
”We’re pleased to have the win,” Tar Heels coach Roy Williams
said. ”We didn’t play exceptionally well. Give South Carolina
credit. They kept coming. Early, it was a 15-point game. But they
kept coming back and making plays that made us uncomfortable. I was
never worried about the outcome of the game. I was just concerned
about how we played. Our defense forced them into 17 turnovers in
the first half.”
North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall scored just four points, but
had 14 assists and six steals with only one turnover.
”Kendall, I thought was sensational,” North Carolina coach Roy
Williams said. ”Those are the kinds of stats that really important
to our team.”
Harrison Barnes had 21 points and five rebounds, and Hairston
had 19 to lead North Carolina (5-0), who will face will face UNLV
(6-0) in the championship game Saturday night.
John Henson had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Tyler Zeller
added 12 points and five rebounds for the Tar Heels, who outscored
the Gamecocks in fast-break points, 16-0.
”We were energetic and we got out to where we wanted to be,”
Williams said. ”I think they were shell-shocked a little
South Carolina never got the lead below 11 points in the second
half, and the Tar Heels extended the advantage to 27 in the final
The game was the first meeting between the teams since Dec. 7,
1996, and North Carolina leads the series 57-21. About 3,000 North
Carolina fans attended the game at the 8,000-seat arena.