OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Meechie Johnson made a three-point play and Jacobi Wright drilled a 3-pointer from the corner with 44 seconds left to lift South Carolina past Ole Miss, 64-61 on Saturday.
Ole Miss hit 6 of 14 shots from behind the 3-point arc in the first half but went 0-9 over the final 20 minutes and missed opportunities to close out a win. With a two-point lead and 2:24 to play the Rebels worked for an open look and found Myles Burns with an open lane to the basket. He could not get his open look to fall and, after Chico Carter Jr. was whistled for an intentional foul, Burns missed both free throws.
Tye Fagan hit two free throws with 1:31 left to give Ole Miss a four-point lead, 59-55, Johnson drove the lane for a layup and added a free throw to get the Gamecocks within one, and after Fagan turned it over, Wright buried a wide-open 3-pointer to take the lead. Johnson added 3 of 4 from the line to put the game out of reach and Fagan added a layup with a second left for the final margin.
Hayden Brown scored 18 points to lead South Carolina (9-16, 2-10 Southeastern Conference). Wright hit 3 of 5 from distance and scored 17 points with five boards and four assists. Johnson contributed 13 points.
Fagan led Ole Miss (10-15, 2-10) with 17 points. Robert Allen finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Mississippi plays at Florida Wednesday. South Carolina travels to face Vanderbilt Tuesday.
- South Carolina ended the final 1:19 of play on a 9-2 run to secure their second conference victory of the season. Meechie Johnson started the run with an and-1 driving layup followed by a huge three from Jacobi Wright with 44 seconds remaining that put the Gamecocks in front by two. Johnson went on to make three of four free throws for Carolina over the final 13.4 seconds of play to seal the win.
- Jacobi Wright set a new career-highs in points (17), and field goals made (6). Wright shot 66.6 percent from the field (6-for-9) including 3-for-5 from behind the arc. He also added five rebounds and dished out four assists.
- Hayden Brown led all scorers with 18 point (6-for-13 shooting) from the field. It marks his 14th game this season scoring in double-figures. He also grabbed four rebounds and had just one turnover in 34 minutes of action.
- Meechie Johnson also scored in double-figures for Carolina with 13 points. Johnson scored six of Carolina’s final nine points over the final 1:19 of play.
- Josh Gray led South Carolina with 13 rebounds, his fifth double-figure rebounding game of the season.
- The Gamecock defense held Ole Miss to just 26.1 percent from behind the arc (6-for-23) including (0-for-9) in the second half.
- The victory snaps an eight-game losing streak and is the team’s first victory since a 71-68 road triumph at Kentucky back on Jan. 10.
- The win also marks Lamont Paris’ first career victory against Ole Miss. It is also just the fourth win all-time for the Gamecocks in Oxford.
Carolina (9-16, 2-10 SEC) returns home for a midweek matchup with Vanderbilt (12-12, 5-6 SEC). Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day at CLA. Mike Morgan (pxp) and Joe Kleine (analyst) will be on the call for the SEC Network broadcast.