Jermaine Couisnard drops 40 points on former team as No. 11 Oregon upsets No. 6 South Carolina | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / June 17.
  • Jermaine Couisnard drops 40 points on former team as No. 11 Oregon upsets No. 6 South Carolina

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    Jermaine Couisnard’s grandmother drove six hours from Chicago to Pittsburgh to see him play for the first time this season. The sixth-year senior, in a revenge game vs. his old team South Carolina, didn’t disappoint her.

    Couisnard dropped an Oregon single-game NCAA Tournament game record 40 points en route to the Ducks’ 87-73 win vs. the Gamecocks. Couisnard was 14-of-22 from the field and 5-of-9 from 3-point range.

    “I knew I had to make a sacrifice for her,” Couisnard said on TNT postgame. “Just one day, that all I dreamed of for her to come to one of my games. She was able to tonight.”

    The last player to have 38+ points in an NCAA Tournament game is Golden State Warriors legend Steph Curry, who did so in 2008 for 10-seed Davidson.

    “He was really feeling it,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said on the podium postgame. “As he mentioned, he had a couple threes that were tough, and I think that really got him going. He got in the paint and finished some tough shots. He just had it going. Those are games every player dreams of, you know, getting it going and getting it going in the NCAA Tournament is a really good feeling. But, no, it was big-time performance.”

    Senior center N’Faly Dante had a big game for the Ducks as well with 23 points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Jackson Shelstad was the only other Oregon player in double-figures with 11 points.

    “I told these guys, they got impressive wins, fellas,” Altman said. “We’re going to have to play our tail off. So our guys knew the battle that was ahead. They got excited about it. And that’s where leadership comes in, and Jermaine and Dante, again, did such a good job.”

    Altman has not lost a game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament since becoming Oregon’s head coach in 2010-11. Altman will next play the school he used to coach at from 1994-2010 in No. 3 seed Creighton.

    Couisnard said that Altman’s message from day one has helped Oregon get to where they are now.

    “We just kept believing,” Couisnard said. “Coach just kept telling us we do two things, rebounding the basketball and not turn the ball over and we’ll be in good shape and I feel like we’re starting to see the form that that’s what takes to win the games.”

    Oregon only turned the ball over 10 times and out-rebound South Carolina 32-26.

    No. 11 Oregon will play No. 3 Creighton on Saturday in Pittsburgh. Tipoff time is still TBD.

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