Elon hands Gamecocks first loss of season

USC plays two games this weekend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

pobley@thestate.comNovember 21, 2012 

— So, to use the mixed metaphor Frank Martin offered following Monday’s victory against Rider: This is what Fool’s Gold smells like.

Elon 65, USC 53.

The Gamecocks suffered their first loss of the season by suffering the fate Martin had warned them about through the first month of the season. When the shots stopped falling, the team’s shortcomings indeed came into plain view.

Fool’s Gold smells like 32.1 percent shooting from the field and 64.7 percent shooting from the free throw line. It smells like multiple double-digit deficits that, unlike against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the opener, were insurmountable.

Every time USC attempted to apply deodorant to the stink, Elon slapped the Right Guard away. The final attempt came after USC mounted an 8-0 run to pull withing 57-52 with 5:46 remaining. Elon responded by shutting down USC the rest of the way from the field.

In fact, the Gamecocks’ final basket was a Lakeem Jackson dunk at the 7-minute mark.

Jackson led USC with 14 points and 10 rebounds. No other Gamecock reached double figures. Brenton Williams had 9.

"When you play lifeless and selfless and you don't sprint to screen, you don't sprint to where you belong on the floor and you get away from the fundamentals that you need on both ends of the floor and you just rely on guys jumping up and making shots, you're not going to beat good teams," Martin said. "You're not going to beat teams with the discipline and toughness that Elon plays with. You're just not."

Elon (3-1) was paced by Lucas Troutman’s 17 points, most of which came underneath the basket.

USC (3-1) travels to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for two games in the Hoops for Hope Classic this weekend. They open with Missouri State on Saturday, then will play either Arkansas-Little Rock or SMU on Sunday.

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ELON: Troutman 7-11 1-2 15, Hamilton 6-10 0-3 13, Isenbarger 4-14 2-2 13, Beaumont 1-4 0-0 2, Koch 3-10 0-2 9, Samson 2-3 2-2 7, Blake 0-2 0-0 0, Sabato 1-1 0-0 2, Edomwonyi 2-2 0-0 4, Winters 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-57 5-11 65.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Jackson 7-13 0-1 14, Slawson 2-4 3-4 7, Page 1-8 1-2 4, Williams 2-6 4-6 9, Smith 1-5 0-0 3, Richardson 2-12 2-2 7, Kacinas 1-2 1-2 3, Leonard 2-6 0-0 6. Totals 18-56 11-17 53.

Halftime: Elon 31-23. 3-Point Goals: Elon 8-15 (Isenbarger 3-5, Koch 3-7, Hamilton 1-1, Samson 1-2), South Carolina 6-19 (Leonard 2-5, Smith 1-1, Williams 1-3, Page 1-4, Richardson 1-6). Fouled Out: Winters. Rebounds: Elon 30 (Koch 7), South Carolina 43 (Jackson 10). Assists: Elon 13 (Koch 5), South Carolina 10 (Richardson 4). Total Fouls: Elon 19, South Carolina 16. Attendance: 6,754.

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