South Carolina Improves to 3-0 in SEC With an 85-75 Over Missouri

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 COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Keyshawn Bryant scored 15 points and Chris Silva added 14 points as South Carolina continued its surprising Southeastern Conference start with an 85-75 win over Missouri on Sunday.

The Gamecocks (8-7, 3-0 SEC) led the entire second half, but struggled to shake the Tigers (9-5, 0-2).

Javon Pickett’s 3-pointer with 3:17 left to go again got Missouri within a possession of tying the game. But Felipe Hasse and A.J. Lawson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put South Carolina ahead 79-70 with 2:03 to go.

The Gamecocks are one of four teams remaining undefeated in the SEC after a league worst 5-7 non-conference record. This is only the third time they have started 3-0 in the SEC since joining the league in 1992.

Haase added 14 points and six rebounds for the Gamecocks.

Pickett led all scorers with 21 points. Mark Smith and Jordan Geist each added 14 for the Tigers.

Jeremiah Tilmon, Missouri’s leading rebounder, fouled out for a third straight game. His 13 minutes played Saturday was his longest outing of the three. The sophomore was disqualified in 12 minutes against Morehead State and nine minutes versus Tennessee.

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but Columbia, Missouri received about a foot of snow Friday into Saturday, and the Tigers couldn’t make it out of town until Saturday.

KEY STAT
> Carolina forced 20 Missouri turnovers which led to 33 points on the offensive end.
> The Gamecocks went 29-for-35 (83%) at the charity stripe. The 29 makes are T-4th most in the Frank Martin era at Carolina.
 
NOTABLES
> Freshman wing Keyshawn Bryant scored 12 of his team-high 15 points in the second half.
> Senior big man Chris Silva had 14 points, marking his eighth straight game in double-figures. He also had four blocks, his eighth game of the season with multiple swats (47th career).
> Sophomore forward Felipe Haase led all bench scorers with 14 points, a career-high for him in 25 SEC games (including the conference tournament).
> Redshirt senior guard Hassani Gravett finished with 12 points after a perfect day at the free throw line. His 12 makes on 12 attempts were both career highs.
> Freshman guard A.J. Lawson scored 11 points and logged a team-high four assists, his ninth game of the season with three or more assists.  
> South Carolina is now 3-0 to start league play for the third time in program history since joining the SEC. The Gamecocks started 11-0 in 1997 and 5-0 in 2017.
> For the second consecutive game, five Carolina players scored in double-figures.
> With today’s victory, the Gamecocks improve to 6-1 when scoring 80 or more points in the 2018-19 season.

UP NEXT
Carolina hits the road for a pair of SEC matchups next week, first traveling to Nashville to face Vanderbilt on Wednesday (Jan. 16) at 7 p.m. ET with Roy Philpot (pxp) and Mark Wise (analyst) on the call for SEC Network. Carolina then heads to Baton Rouge to square off with LSU on Saturday (Jan. 19) at 6 p.m. ET. Kevin Fitzgerald (pxp) and Dane Bradshaw (analyst) are the crew assigned for the conference clash on SEC Network.

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