Gamecocks tune up for No. 2 Ohio State against PC tonight

South Carolina hopes its last game was a positive sign of things to come, but can’t expect a cakewalk when it hosts Presbyterian College in a Tuesday night contest between two in-state rivals.

The Gamecocks (3-5) are fresh off a three-point win over rival Clemson, which snapped a three-game losing streak. They hope to use this game as a tune-up for Saturday’s showdown with visiting Ohio State, which is ranked No. 2 in the nation, but the Blue Hose can’t be taken lightly.

Presbyterian (4-4) is beginning the first of four consecutive non-conference games and is coming off a win over Radford that broke a two-game losing streak.The Blue Hose defeated Cincinnati on the road earlier this season.

Al’Lonzo Coleman has recovered nicely from the broken ankle that cost him the second half of last season. Coleman leads the team with 15 points and 7.9 rebounds per game and had his 16th career double-double in the win over Radford. Khalid Mutakabbir is averaging 14.8 points and 4.1 rebounds.

The Gamecocks have been woeful on offense, hitting only 41.1 percent from the floor and averaging only 62.4 points, No. 282 in the country. Malik Cooke, the team’s lone returning senior, is the only player averaging double figures (12.0 points) and averages 5.0 rebounds.

Carolina is pressing freshman Anthony Gill to be more aggressive and he responded against Clemson with a late 3-pointer than put Carolina ahead to stay. Carolina’s Bruce Ellington, last year’s leading scorer, returned to the court from the football team two games ago and continues to knock the rust off his shot. He’s averaging 7.5 points.

The teams have one common opponent. South Carolina defeated Western Carolina, while Presbyterian lost to the Catamounts. South Carolina leads the series 30-7 and has won seven of the last eight, with Presbyterian’s last win coming in 1943.

TV: 7 p.m. ET. Fox Sports Net

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