After a week off, South Carolina returns to action Sunday, hosting Presbyterian in a nonconference matchup.
The Gamecocks (4-4) last played on Dec. 3 when they defeated Georgetown 74-71 in overtime, with Meechie Johnson knocking down the game-winning 3-pointer against the Hoyas.
Johnson, averaging 7.3 points per game after battling a nagging ankle injury early in the year, said stepping up in big moments is something he embraces.
“It comes down to confidence,” Johnson told The State. “I’ve been in situations like that throughout my whole career. I love moments like that. My teammates trusted me, and it went in. I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Johnson is one of five players averaging seven or more points per game. The Gamecocks are led in scoring by Gregory Jackson II, who is pouring in 17 points per game. Jackson scored 22 against the Hoyas.
South Carolina now prepares for a Presbyterian team that has dropped its last two. The Blue Hose (2-8) are coming off a 67-62 loss to the College of Charleston where they battled up until the end against an opponent that came in receiving votes in the Top 25.
Winston Hill led the way in the defeat, scoring 19 points. He’s scored in double figures three times this season and 32 times in his career. Hill is one of four players averaging nine or more points per game (9.7).
“Winston is a guy that likes it when the lights come on,” Presbyterian head coach Quinton Ferrell said in a post-game interview. “He’s preseason all-conference (in the Big South) for a reason.”
Ferrell also noted that he believes better days are ahead for his program if it continues to play opponents tough.
“We have to continue to stay connected, continue to listen and continue to work hard,” Ferrell said. “If we do that, we’ll get to a place where we are playing really good basketball, and it will equate to wins.”
Presbyterian will be facing its first Power 5 opponent Sunday. The Blue Hose are 0-5 on the road.
South Carolina is 3-0 at home and is taking on its second Big South foe of the year. The Gamecocks defeated USC Upstate 68-53 on Nov. 25.
–Field Level Media