South Carolina dropped a 58-53 decision at Elon in front of a raucous crowd of 427 on Tuesday night at Alumni Gym. Anthony Gill led the Gamecocks with 9 points and 9 rebounds, while Demontre Harris added 10 rebounds.
“People just don’t go into Alumni Gym and expect to walk out with a victory,” said Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn. “Elon is a tough, tough basketball team, as evidenced by their preseason ranking of fifth in the North division in the Southern Conference. The bottom half of the North division is traditionally one of the toughest bottom halves of a lower mid-major conference in the Southern part of the mid-Atlantic region. ”
Horn continued, “We played these guys tough, make no mistake, we just didn’t make the critical plays down the stretch. I told the guys before the game we were going to need to shoot heavily contested threes to win this game. I figured 10% from behind the arc would win, and we shot 11%, so you certainly can’t fault the game plan. Elon just made plays, that’s what they do.”
Horn bristled when asked if this was an embarrassing loss for this program.
“Embarrassing loss? I don’t think you can ever classify a loss to Elon on their home court as embarrassing. Did you hear that crowd out there? I haven’t heard a crowd that loud since my wife and I went to hear that Thin Lizzy cover band at that bar I can’t remember the name of.”
Horn was asked what positives he could take from the loss.
“Well, just the fact we played Elon to within single digits on the road will boost our confidence. Also, one of our goals is to get at least one player into double digits in scoring every game, and Gill had nine. Nine is one less than ten, which is double digits, so we have room to improve, but that’s still a step in the right direction in my book.”
Horn was then asked how his team was going to regroup for Tennessee State on Sunday night.
“Please, I don’t even want to think about Tennessee State right now. Let me get my head around this loss and we’ll start game planning for the…the, uh…anybody know Tennessee State’s mascot?”
“Yeah, Tigers, got to game plan of for the Tigers. How many tall, slow white dudes do they have? That’s a problem for us, you know.”
Tennessee State at South Carolina will tip off at 6:11 p.m. on Sunday night. For some reason it will be televised.
And Darrin Horn will still be the coach of the Gamecocks.