COLUMBIA, S.C.--South Carolina scored the first eight points of the game and never looked back as the Gamecocks defeated Texas A&M 80-52 Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena.
The Aggies (12-8, 3-4 SEC) missed their first four shots and committed four turnovers all in the game's first four minutes, allowing South Carolina (8-12, 1-6) to jump out to the quick lead.
A pair of free throws by Shawn Smith with 9:13 to go in the first half pulled A&M within six at 21-15. The Aggies would get no closer, however, as the Gamecocks went on a 17-2 run and eventually took a 20-point advantage into the locker room.
The Aggies got as close as 12 early in the second half before Carolina pulled away for good.
Smith and Jamal Jones led A&M with 9 points apiece.
Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice each scored 19 to lead South Carolina.
Texas A&M returns to action Saturday afternoon when the Aggies travel to Gainesville to meet No. 3 Florida.
South Carolina 80, Texas A&M 52
Jan. 29, 2014 ● Colonial Life Arena
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M fell to 12-8 on the season and 3-4 in SEC play after the 80-52 loss to South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena Wednesday night.
● The meeting was just the third all-time between the Aggies and Gamecocks and the first to take place in Columbia, S.C. … The all-time series between the schools stands at 2-1 in favor of Texas A&M.
● South Carolina started the game on an 8-0 run en route to owning a 41-21 lead at halftime … The 41 points was the most given up by A&M in a first half this season.
● A&M attempted to rally following the intermission by using a 13-5 run to cut the USC advantage down to 12 at 46-34 with 16:33 to play … That would be the closest the Aggies could close the gap as the Gamecocks owned a 34-18 scoring margin down the stretch.
● The Aggies collected 10 steals in the contest, reaching double digits in the category for the fourth time this season.
● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Shawn Smith, Jamal Jones, Antwan Space and Kourtney Roberson for the first time this season.
● Texas A&M did not feature a player in double-digit scoring as both Jamal Jones and Shawn Smith led the Aggies with nine points apiece … Jones did much of his damage from the free throw line where he was 7-of-9.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 44-41 in his third season at Texas A&M and 255-220 in 16 years as a head coach.
● The Aggies' road swing continues this weekend when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to battle No. 3 Florida on Saturday inside the O'Connell Center.... The game is set to tip-off at 3 p.m. (CT) and will be televised by SEC TV.