College Sports

Cold-shooting Gamecocks lose another halftime lead, fall at Wyoming

South Carolina Gamecocks guard A.J. Lawson (00) brings the ball up against the Norfolk State Spartans during the second half of their game at Colonial Life Arena.
South Carolina Gamecocks guard A.J. Lawson (00) brings the ball up against the Norfolk State Spartans during the second half of their game at Colonial Life Arena. Jeff@JeffBlakePhoto.com

Take South Carolina away from Colonial Life Arena this season and you’ll see a familiar result.

In shades of a loss to Providence last month in Connecticut, the Gamecocks struggled in Laramie, Wyoming, on Wednesday night. USC led Wyoming at halftime, but fell 73-64 to the Cowboys at Arena-Auditorium.

USC dropped to 4-4. It still hasn’t won consecutive games in 2018-19.

On paper, this seemed like Carolina’s best chance to start generating some momentum this year. The Cowboys, of the Mountain West Conference, entered with a 2-6 record. USC looked as the favorite early on, leading by nine on three different occasions in the first half, but it failed to put Wyoming away.

Just like the Providence loss, the Gamecocks came out flat to begin the second half and paid for it. The Cowboys erased a four-point halftime deficit with a 14-0 run and never looked back. USC committed 10 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the second half. It trailed by 12 with 11 minutes remaining.

Wyoming’s dagger came from Jake Hendricks with 2:07 left. It ended a 6-0 USC run and put the Cowboys up nine.

Freshman A.J. Lawson led USC with 15 points and nine rebounds, but he also had six turnovers. The Gamecocks continued their up-and-down nature from 3, finishing 3 of 20 from range. They shot 33.8 percent from the floor. Chris Silva missed 11 of his 14 attempts.

Justin James, the nation’s 10th leading scorer, ran into early foul trouble and was held to five first half points, but poured in 13 for Wyoming over the final 20 minutes.

Next game

Who: South Carolina at No. 5 Michigan

When: Noon Saturday

Where: Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan

TV: Fox Sports 1

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