ATHENS, Ga. — Finding the words to describe USCs latest loss (62-54 in overtime at Georgia) will be difficult. So, lets go to the tape.
The following play is brought to you by USC and Georgia, makers of helter-skelter basketball since the start of SEC play:
Georgia coach Mark Fox: I think the first thing we should do is credit South Carolinas team and staff.
USC coach Frank Martin: We were up (four) with one minute to go. You have to win the game. We didnt do that. Whats disappointing is the lack of belief that we are supposed to win.
In the first half, USC shoots 20 percent (6 of 30) from the field, yet trails 23-16, thanks to Georgia matching the Gamecocks missed shot for missed shot.
Martin: We were running our offense. We were playing defense and running our offense. We were getting layups and wide-open shots. And then our guards are shooting it off the backboard.
The shots begin falling in the second half for the Gamecocks while Georgia continues to stumble. Suddenly, USC leads, 51-47. Then everything falls apart. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hits a game-tying 3-point basket to force overtime.
Caldwell-Pope: That last play was a well-executed play, and I just knocked down a big shot.
Martin: No, were scrambling from the word go and I have no idea why. We had said we were chasing Pope off every screen because we knew they were going to him and we knew the play they were running and we fell asleep.
USC guard Bruce Ellington: Its pretty frustrating because we work too hard and play so hard to come down to little things like not rebounding the ball and not switching on screens and letting them get a clear shot at the last second.
USC guard Eric Smith: We cant have lapses like that.
Once in overtime, the wheels fall off for a dejected team. The Bulldogs outscore USC 9-1.
Martin: They just dropped their heads. Dropped their heads and just gave in to the moment, which is a common theme around here.
Caldwell-Pope leads all scorers with 18 points after being held scoreless in the first half. Georgia outrebounds USC 47-39, outscores USC 28-12 at the free throw line and scores 18 points off USC turnovers.
Smith: Its very frustrating, but its our fault. We cant blame anyone but ourselves. We need to figure out a way to finish a game.
USC falls to 13-14 overall and 3-11 in SEC play. Georgia improves to 13-14 and 7-7.
Fox: It feels good to get a victory. To win in overtime, well take it any way we could have gotten it.
Georgia guard Charles Mann: We were able to make big plays this game.
Martin: Sometimes, somebody has to make a shot. You cant coach shot-making. You can coach the offense but you cant coach shot-making.
Fox: Frank Martin should be one of the leading candidates for Coach of the Year in this league. He has got his team playing so hard. Ive got a lot of respect for how theyre playing. We felt coming in it was going to be a battle, and it certainly was.
Martin: We fought. We came in here to win, that was obvious. But weve got to believe we can win.
SOUTH CAROLINA (13-14)
Chatkevicius 1-8 1-2 3, Carrera 1-5 3-5 5, Jackson 4-8 1-2 9, Smith 0-7 3-6 3, Ellington 4-15 0-0 11, Williams 3-7 2-3 9, Richardson 3-6 0-0 8, Kacinas 2-4 1-2 5, Slawson 0-0 1-4 1. Totals 18-60 12-24 54.
D. Williams 1-4 3-5 5, Morris 0-3 3-7 3, Florveus 1-1 1-2 3, Caldwell-Pope 4-12 8-13 18, V. Williams 1-5 0-0 3, Mann 3-5 8-13 14, Dixon 2-4 1-2 5, Echols 0-0 0-0 0, Gaines 0-1 0-0 0, Brantley 0-7 0-0 0, Cannon 0-1 0-0 0, Djurisic 3-5 4-4 11. Totals 15-48 28-46 62.
Halftime: Georgia 23-16. End Of Regulation: Tied 53. 3-Point Goals: South Carolina 6-19 (Ellington 3-9, Richardson 2-4, Williams 1-3, Smith 0-1, Kacinas 0-1, Chatkevicius 0-1), Georgia 4-16 (Caldwell-Pope 2-8, V. Williams 1-1, Djurisic 1-2, Brantley 0-5). Fouled Out: Carrera, Jackson, Williams. Rebounds: South Carolina 39 (Chatkevicius 10), Georgia 47 (Morris 11). Assists: South Carolina 8 (Ellington 3), Georgia 9 (Caldwell-Pope 4). Total Fouls: South Carolina 29, Georgia 21. Attendance: 6,590.