COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Bulldogs had an off shooting night as they dropped an 83-71 contest to South Carolina Tuesday night inside Colonial Life Arena.
The loss moves MSU to 19-11 (10-7) and hurts the Bulldogs’ chances of making the NCAA Tournament. South Carolina improves to 18-12 (10-7 SEC).
The Bulldogs jumped out to an 11-5 lead, but the Gamecocks scored the game’s next 18 points during a 26-2 run that gave the Gamecocks a 31-13 lead with nine minutes left in the half.
MSU responded by closing out the half on a 25-9 run to make it a 40-38 South Carolina lead at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Bulldogs got into foul trouble. Sophomore forward Reggie Perry picked up his fourth with 16:53 remaining in the game.
The Gamecocks stretched their lead to 10 points at 63-53 with 7:13 left. A pair of free throws by senior guard Tyson Carter made it a four-point game at 66-62 with 4:39 left, but a 3-pointer stretched the Gamecock lead back to seven.
South Carolina grew its lead back to double-digits when a three-point play made it a 76-66 game with 2:26 left.
MSU went on to drop the contest 83-71.
Carter led the team with 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He made 4-of-5 from 3-point range and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Perry finished with 17 points on 5-of-13 from the field and grabbed 16 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the season.
As a team, MSU shot 22-of-56 (39.3%). including 5-of-14 (35.7%) from three. South Carolina shot 32-of-66 (48.5%) and 5-of-11 (45.5%) from 3-point range.
Looking ahead, MSU will need a few big wins in the Southeastern Conference Tournament to make it to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs end the regular season on Saturday with a 5:30 p.m. CT game against rival Ole Miss. The game will be televised by SEC Network.