South Carolina beats #9 UVA on the road

The Gamecocks snapped a 22-game home non-conference win streak for the Cavaliers

Team Notes

• UVA’s 22-game home non-conference winning streak ended

• UVA committed a season-high 19 turnovers, most since 19 vs. West Virginia on Dec, 8, 2015

• UVA allowed a season-high 16 fast break points

• UVA had 12 turnovers and 17 field goal attempts in the first half

• UVA climbed back into the game with a 16-3 run in the second half

• The Gamecocks shot 55.1 percent from the field, highest against UVA since Florida State (3/15/19)

• South Carolina led 33-24 at halftime

Series Notes

• UVA is 26-25 all-time vs. the Gamecocks, including a 16-9 mark in Charlottesville

• The Cavaliers posted a 14-20 mark from 1953-71 against South Carolina when the Gamecocks were members of the ACC

• UVA is 3-3 against the Gamecocks since 1990

Player Notes

• Double-figure scorers: Mamadi Diakite (21)

• Diakite had a career-high nine made free throws

• Diakite had two blocks to move into fourth on UVA’s all-time list with 131

• Kihei Clark had a career-high seven turnovers

Virginia Coach Tony Bennett Quotes

On South Carolina’s shooting and UVA’s turnovers:

“They pressured us into turnovers and they shot the ball well. I thought early we weren't contesting their shots at the level that we needed to. I can always live with tough shots that are made if you're bothering the shot but it's almost like it surprised us and then I thought there were stretches where we battled and fought and made it more difficult for them to score but that's when, you know, a careless turnover happened or we gave up a transition bucket, an offensive rebound and that was just too much and I think at times we beat ourselves. And again, they played well and we had stretches of solid basketball but not enough and, you know, when you look at the stat sheet, a lot of it… was 16 fast break points and 19 turnovers. You're not going to win against a quality opponent doing that.”

On Braxton Key’s play improving following return from injury:

“I think with that there's times you can see he's still a little unsure, but much better than last game with his comfort level and playing with it and sometimes you just got to go there. He did some good things… He gave us, certainly a lift and we needed all [of it]. I told the guys that either didn't play or didn't play as much, you have to stay ready because you just don't know. But, yep, that was a positive for sure.”

On sequence following tying the game:

“We had to fight to get back into it… airball sometimes are hard to get off a rebound but you still have to make the effort and I thought he went in unchecked. It looked like Tomas and we've worked on that stuff an awful lot because we know those things are going to be crucial when you get in games to not allow the second chance points. There were turnovers, and fast break points and rebounds in that stretch that were just too much, and some unnecessary fouls that put them at the line. So again, that's part of us trying to be in that spot again and be a little tighter, a little surer, and a little sounder and all those areas but those were very costly and that was frustrating because that's for the most part in our control and that's the hard stuff.”

On Jair Bolden’s performance:

“Well he kind of shot right over Kihei. He was so good, 15 in the first half, he's a good player. And I thought we tightened up a little bit and it was like ‘fool me once, shame on you fool me twice me’. You have to tighten up your defense and at least close down. I thought it was too many uncontested or open window shots and I thought we made it hard but he played great. Again, they got key threes at the right time, made plays off the bounce and he's good… He played like an upperclassman and he gave a great lift and we couldn't handle him early. [We were] a little better in second half but he got them off the right way for sure.”

Opening Statement:

“Obviously, I am unbelievably proud of our guys but more importantly I want to say thank you to Tony Bennett. He is one of the classiest people in the world, let alone coaching. Because of the history of our school and the many years I have tried to schedule ACC games – I think everyone understands the history of South Carolina basketball. The fan base wants it and I give Tony credit. He signed up for it and gave us the opportunity to come here and play and the home game last year. We are trying to build our program and we are extremely grateful for giving us the chance to play the game.”

On adjustments for game:

“We have played like a football team for a few weeks, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. So, we have had an unbelievable amount of time to change some things around and really self-evaluate. I am not telling you I have made the right moves, I think our kids have. Their spirit is in a really good place and they are committed to what we are trying to do. We had six days to prepare for this game and we did things very similar for what we did at Clemson. We made some adjustments on a couple of things to attack Virginia because they are so difficult to score on and our guys executed. Other than that segment with about 14 minutes to go, when they forced us into trouble, offensively we played really well which allowed us to play halfway decent defense.”

On Virginia’s turnovers:

“We take a lot of pride in how we defend and going into the year I thought this team had the chance to be one of the better defensive teams I have coached. AJ is in the 6-6 range, Jair is in the 6-3 range, 6-6 length wise. Couisnard is the same thing. We are long, big strong dudes which, when you are long like that in the perimeter it gives you a chance. Now we have Bryant back in there which gives us a high- IQ athlete that makes our defense even better with his athleticism and length. Just like Tony, we each spend a lot of time on defending. We defend differently but we are trying to keep the ball out of the paint and so is he.”

On Jair Bolden’s play:

“He could have pouted, I moved him off of the point after the Houston game. A lot of kids, when you change their responsibility, they hang their head and pout and it takes two weeks to get them back on board. I give him a lot of credit, he never pouted. He came in to see me after the Houston game and he has had two great weeks of practice. He came out here today ready to go. When he jumped up and made that three early in the game, that gave our guys life. Jair is a real good player and I am still trying to figure out how to put him in the best possible scenarios.”

Virginia Senior Guard Braxton Key

On his recovery:

I thought today was a great day, I am moving forward. Coach and my teammates have just been telling me to stay patient with it, they know how capable I am, how good I am. It’s difficult, obviously, going down and having to make your way back up. I’ve just been getting my legs under me and moving from there.”

On the team’s offensive direction:

“I think we are going in the right direction. Tonight was just turnovers. We have to take care of the ball. If we had been playing better offensively and defensively, I think the outcome would have been different. When you are not getting shots it makes offense a lot harder, obviously, and you can’t score points without taking shots. We just have to regroup, watch film and we will be better next game.”

Virginia Freshman Guard Casey Morsell

On his mindset towards shooting and performance:

“Just keep shooting. You work on it time and time again. You have to stay confident and not get discouraged. My coaches and teammates keep believing in me, so the opportunity is going to be there. I just have to keep working and have a positive mindset.”

On the high amount of turnovers:

I just think we are being aggressive, sometimes too aggressive, to the point where we hurt ourselves. I think in this game we hurt ourselves. South Carolina did a great job of making shots, killing the momentum of the game. We just have to play our basketball, just take care of the ball, defend at a high level and just be smart.”

Virginia Senior Forward Mamadi Diakite

On the comeback and what it means for the team:

“I thought it was very encouraging, knowing that we were down double digits at one point. Knowing that we were able to come back with a young team gave me a lot of hope. We learned from what happened at the beginning of the game but then we just unplugged.”

On the highest points scored and shooting percentage of the year:

“We’re young. It’s not that we don’t know how to play, we just need to learn and know when we need to do certain things. I think the guys are getting there. Today I saw some flashes offensively, sometimes guys will be open and just let it go. At the beginning of the season, guys were holding it or scared, they weren’t doing what they were supposed to do when they got the ball. The guys like Kody [Stattmann] and Casey [Morsell] were able to get those open looks and let the ball fly.”