COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Jair Bolden scored 19 points and South Carolina defeated Texas A&M 81-67 on Saturday afternoon.
The Gamecocks made 16-of-30 of their 3-point attempts (53.3%), in keeping the Aggies at arms’ length for most of the second part of the second half. The Aggies, one of the nation’s worst 3-point shooting teams, finished 3-of-14 from 3-point range (21.4%), in failing to keep up with South Carolina down the stretch.
The Gamecocks (10-7, 2-2 SEC) led 39-33 at halftime thanks to 10 points each from Justin Minaya and Bolden over the first 20 minutes. The Aggies (8-8, 2-3) briefly grabbed a lead at 49-48 nearly midway through the second half before the Gamecocks reclaimed the lead for good, primarily thanks to the long shot (10 of 18 from the 3-point line in the second half).
Minaya added 18 points and Jermaine Couisnard chipped in 17 for the Gamecocks, and South Carolina also held a 38-27 rebounding edge.
One sequence with a little more than seven minutes remaining summed up South Carolina’s effort: The Gamecocks missed five consecutive shots, two jump shots and three layups, on the same possession, but followed each with an offensive rebound. Couisnard rewarded his teammates’ hustle with a 3-pointer from the right corner to cap the flurry of misses and rebounds, and lift South Carolina to a 63-55 lead.
Josh Nebo led the Aggies with 18 points.
South Carolina: Following three consecutive losses, including to Stetson just prior to opening SEC play, the Gamecocks are on a bit of roll in league play, in following up an 81-78 home victory over No. 10 Kentucky on Wednesday with Saturday’s triumph on the road, in which they pulled away late.
Texas A&M: The Aggies need to win their home games if they’re to have any hope of a postseason berth, but this week they dropped contests in Reed Arena to LSU (in overtime on Tuesday) and then Saturday in a game they were favored to win.
The Gamecocks stay on the road at Auburn on Wednesday.
The Aggies play at Missouri on Tuesday.