Bruce Ellington showed the SEC once again that USC has a new point guard that will terrorize this league for years to come. Ellington led a strong Carolina performance this afternoon as the Gamecocks withstood a late Florida rally to win in Gainesville 72-69. Bruce Ellington scored 23 points this afternoon and hit some crucial free throws down the stretch to keep the Gamecocks out front for good. USC took the lead late in the 1st half and never relinquished it. This is coming after the Gamecocks led for only 1 minute in regulation in their first two SEC games.
It was a balanced performance overall for the Gamecocks who got a big performance from Damontre Harris in the first half. The freshman picked up 8 early points, made several key rebounds, and even picked up 3 points. Lakeem Jackson provided another gritty performance all around and Muldrow stepped up to hit a big 3-pointer with under a minute left to help give the Gamecocks some breathing room to finish off the Florida Gators. Florida did have some strong performances from Erving Walker and Chandler Parsons in the second half to pull the Gators close.
If the Gamecocks can get some double digit scoring performances from guys like Muldrow, Jackson, etc. then they have a great chance of continuing some strong play in the SEC. Things appear wide open right now but things won't be easy. USC can play with the big boys of this conference if they continue to grow and play smart basketball. A big key to today's win was the limited turnovers for the Gamecocks. USC only turned the ball over 8 times this afternoon as opposed to 20 times against Alabama earlier this week.
This young team played a tough non-conference schedule and it looks like it may pay off for the Gamecocks in the SEC portion of their season. It's only 3 games in the SEC season but USC is doing surprisingly well with wins over Vanderbilt and Florida. Bruce Ellington is a big reason for USC's early success and gave USC a boost this afternoon in the big win over the Gators.
The Gamecocks play Arkansas at home on Wednesday night at 8:00 PM. I know everyone is getting excited about Kentucky coming to town but let's focus on one game at a time. As we've seen already USC can play fantastic one game and then struggle the next. It's going to be huge for the Gamecocks to play well against Arkansas if they want to build towards postseason play. So be sure to make it out to the Colonial Life Arena and cheer on your Gamecocks!