Having lived in Long Island, New York for forty six plus years, two to three inches of snow/mixed with ice is nowhere near what I consider a snowstorm. But it can cause havoc in Southeast cities not used to having snow/ice or not prepared in stopping it. Such was the case in Atlanta and Alabama on Tuesday, where despite a winter storm warning, schools were in session and most people were at work. It resulted in a complete mess, with ice covered roads causing more than 1,000 accidents in Georgia and highways were complete logjams. Kids were stuck overnight in schools in Georgia and Alabama. Hundreds of people abandoned their cars as they could not get around due to the ice and traffic jams.
Again on Wednesday, schools were closed, along with the University of South Carolina, as well as state and county offices. So just like most other kids, my two sons had the day off and enjoyed the snow, which is very much a rarity in the South. Yes, I indulged in a few snowballs with my two children. But come the afternoon, I had serious cabin fever. Thankfully, the game was still on for Wednesday evening and I needed the two hour college basketball fix.
Entering the game, the Gamecocks had not won a game in conference. The 0-6 record was a little misleading in that South Carolina had been in most of their games, losing four games by eight points or less. This included an 75-67 loss at Texas A&M earlier in the season. The Aggies came into the game at 3-3 in conference.
Texas A&M would cut the lead to six, 17-11 on a couple of three pointers by Antwan Space and Jordan Green. And for nearly the next three and a half minutes, the Aggies would stay in range, only trailing by six, 21-15. After Carrera dribbled into traffic, which resulted in a steal by Texas A&M, Martin replaced him. As Carrera walked by, Martin yelled loudly at him "PASS THE BALL!"
And the fans got involved, especially the student section. Whether it was their own cabin fever after not having school for two days or starved for a conference win, the students were the loudest I had heard for a men's game all season.
But Notice made sure that was as close as the Aggies would get the rest of the way. He would score ten of the Gamecocks' first twelve points in the second half. His three point play would put South Carolina up 53-37 with fourteen plus minutes left in the game.
From there, the Gamecocks went on a 19-4 run over about seven minutes. Sindarius Thornwell would hit six free throws in a row. His last free throw would give South Carolina a 69-41 lead with seven and a half minutes left in the game.
The Gamecocks had four scorers in double figures led by Notice and Thornwell, each with nineteen points. Williams, despite missing two free throws, which gave him now three misses on the season, added eighteen points. Chatkevicius had a career high twelve points. The Gamecocks shot fifty two percent from the field and eighty one percent from the line (26 of 32).
The Aggies had no players in double figures in scoring. Space and Jamal Jones each had nine points for Texas A&M. The Aggies shot thirty five percent from the field and were just four of sixteen from beyond the arc.
But hopefully, it's not the snow, but the start of something for the Gamecocks' basketball team. What I saw Wednesday night was the equivalent of this weekend's upcoming warm front.