Gamecocks get hot from behind the arc in win over Aggies

University of South Carolina Athletics

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.

KEY STATS

> The Gamecocks tied a school record making 16-of-30 (53.3%) shots from behind the 3-point line. Carolina was 10-of-18 (55.6%) from deep in the second half alone. The Gamecocks made 16 3s in a 84-77 win at home over the Aggies last season on Feb. 16, 2019 and 16 triples in a 92-52 home win against Campbell on Nov. 28, 2007.

> Carolina matched a season-high previously set in an 84-80 win at UMASS with 22 assists (T-4th most in a single game in Martin's tenure with the Gamecocks).

> Defensively, South Carolina held Texas A&M without a field goal the final 4:22 of the contest.

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Chaunte'l Powell

Chaunte'l Powell