South Carolina hopes to turn tables on Mississippi State

NCAA Basketball

South Carolina hopes to turn tables on Mississippi State

Mississippi State salvaged an impressive win from an otherwise disappointing season in its most recent performance.

South Carolina will try to salvage something similar from its disappointing season when it plays the Bulldogs in a Southeastern Conference game Wednesday night in Starkville, Miss.

Mississippi State (12-11, 6-8 SEC) had lost six of its past seven conference games when it went on the road and ended Ole Miss’ four-game winning streak with a 66-56 victory last Saturday.

“We never gave up, and we kept the same energy,” said Iverson Molinar, who scored 12 of his game-high 17 points in the second half against Ole Miss. “It’s not a good situation to be in by having that losing streak.

“So we took that fight inside of us to keep improving in the areas that we made mistakes in during the past games.”

The Bulldogs limited the Rebels to 38.2 percent shooting from the field, including 26.3 percent on 3-pointers.

“I thought we played really good defense,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. “I thought we set the tone early in the game.”

South Carolina (5-11, 3-9) lost its fifth consecutive game, 93-78 at home to then-No. 20 Missouri on Saturday. The skid started with a 75-59 home loss to the Bulldogs on Feb. 6, but the Gamecocks still hope to accomplish something meaningful down the stretch.

“The season is not over with yet,” said the Gamecocks’ Trae Hannibal, who made all six of his field-goal attempts and scored 15 points against Missouri. “So we’ve just got to keep going hard, and we’ve just got to keep positive energy. I think this week coming up, we’ll turn it back around.”

South Carolina has just three more games scheduled before the SEC Tournament.

Coach Frank Martin said it’s “very, very frustrating” that his team hasn’t been more competitive.

“We don’t make contested layups, we don’t make contested plays,” he said. “When the ball’s in the balance, it’s just there, go get it. We just haven’t made those plays.

“For 35 years, my players have never gotten out of the way. We get out of the way this year.”

–Field Level Media

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