NCAA Tournament: Jermaine Couisnard Drops 40 in win vs South Carolina

Couisnard and N'Faly Dante led Oregon past South Carolina to a matchup with Creighton on Saturday and a chance at the Sweet 16.
Mar 21, 2024; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Dana Altman calls out to his team during
Mar 21, 2024; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Dana Altman calls out to his team during / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Dana Altman has never lost a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament. This year he earned his first win with just eight scholarship players.

Jermaine Couisnard, their most experienced player took control of the game and helped Oregon to a lead they would not give back in the second half.

Couisnard, who spent his first three seasons with South Carolina torched his former team for 40 points, taking the title of most points scored in an NCAA Tournament game by an Oregon Duck in the process.

The senior was 14 for 22 from the floor, including 5 for 9 from three-point range and he hit a perfect 7 for 7 from the free throw line.

Oregon had 9 turnovers in the first half but settled down for just a single turnover in the second half which was a key in the game. South Carolina, despite being down never quit in the final twenty minutes, despite foul trouble from some of their key players.

It took til the second half for N’ Faly Dante to find his rhythm.

Dante finished the game with 22 points after just 8 points in the first half. He was also a key defender at the basket with multiple deflected shots in the second half. Dante had 6 rebounds.

One player who got into the rebound category that was a surprise to me was Kwame Evans Jr. KJ cleaned up 6 rebounds vs South Carolina and finished with 8 points. The Ducks outrebounded the Gamecocks, 32-26 in the 87-73 win.

We know that the NCAA Tournament loves storylines. Oregon will face Creighton in the Round of 32 which puts Dana Altman against his former team for a chance to get to the Sweet 16. The game is set for Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6:40 p.m. PT on TBS.