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Thornwell can't take down LSU alone
LSU's 6-9 256 lb Johnny O'Bryant III, who scored 30 points and snagged 10 rebounds with his gigantic arms in last year's contest when the teams squared off, was impressively kept in check with only 2 points and 2 rebounds in the first half.
If it weren't for Gamecock starters Duane Notice and Demetrius Henry each getting 2 fouls in the first 2 minutes and 10 seconds of the game, South Carolina easily could have led instead of trailing 32-30 at intermission. LSU did find a big offensive boost from the skilled 6-9 241 lb freshman Jarell Martin who netted 11 points going into the break.
Thornwell stayed hot early on in the 2nd half, but LSU's powerful O'Bryant III also started to heat up as did the Tiger guards from 3 point range. An eager and surprisingly lively crowd at Colonial Life Arena did its best to keep the Gamecocks in the game, but only Thornwell responded. The 6-5 Thornwell thrashed the LSU defense to finish with 25 points, but LSU held off the feisty South Carolina team and will head home to Baton Rouge with a 71-68 victory.
Jarell Martin led the Tigers with 18 points, but it was the clutch rebounding late in the game from O'Bryant III that did the Gamecocks in. LSU could have kept South Carolina at a greater distance, but they struggled from the free throw line all afternoon.
The Tigers even their conference mark at 1-1, 10-4 overall, while the Gamecocks drop to 0-2 in the SEC, 7-8 overall and continue to look for answers.
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