COLUMBIA, S.C. – Josh Caldwell, a native of Columbia, S.C., led the Black Knights in scoring with 18 points in a 105-75 defeat to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Wednesday afternoon.
The Black Knights held their own with the Gamecocks in the early stages, However, South Carolina used a run in the latter part of the first half to create a double-digit lead in which Army was unable to trim.
Army raced out to an eight-point lead through the opening 5:21. Charlie Peterson opened the scoring with a layup, followed by points by Chris Mann and a triple by Jalen Rucker for a 7-3 lead. Army led 10-9 with 17 minutes remaining in the first half when the Black Knights went on an 11-4 run over the next 2:37.
Four different Cadets scored, capped by a three-point play by TJ Small, for a 21-13 lead at the 14:39 mark. The Gamecocks responded with a 12-0 run for a 25-21 lead with 11:46 on the clock. Army answered with a pair of free throws by Kwabena Davis and a basket by Josh Caldwell as the score was knotted at 25-25 with 9:46 left in the opening half.
However, the Gamecocks closed out the remainder of the first half by outscoring the Black Knights 36-18.
Army outscored South Carolina, 11-9, in the opening five minutes of the second half.
However, the Gamecocks scored eight of the next 10 points to put their lead to over 20 points and maintained at least a 20-point lead for the rest of the game.
“I thought the difference in the game was our ability during that stretch in the first half of taking care of the basketball as they got into us. We came out strong and played at a good pace. We turned the ball over a few times and they scored 23 points off of our turnovers in the first half and that was the difference,” said coach Jimmy Allen
Army returns home to host Loyola (MD) on Saturday, January 1 at 2 p.m. to open Patriot League play.