Nov. 27, 2017
Men's Basketball at FIU
MIAMI (AP) — Chris Silva scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead South Carolina to a 78-61 win over FIU on Monday night.
Maik Kotsar scored 16 points, Justin Minaya added 13, and Frank Booker chipped in 12 for South Carolina (5-1) as head coach Frank Martin faced his alma mater for the first time on the road as a head coach. Martin is 3-0 against FIU.
FIU (2-4) was led by Eric Lockett's 21 points.
After hitting a 3 to give the Gamecocks a 38-36 lead going into the break after a wild first half, Booker picked up where he left off, hitting three 3s in the opening minutes of the second half to give South Carolina a 57-38 lead.
Booker's 3 were part of a pivotal 15-0 run that helped lift the Gamecocks to the win.
FIU cut the deficit to 10 points at 68-58 with six minutes left in the game, but were unable to get within single digits.
Both teams played an entertaining first half with each taking a turn at a big run.
South Carolina opened with a 9-0 run capped by an emphatic breakaway dunk by Silva. The Gamecocks' fast start continued, making 9 of their first 11 shots to build a 20-4 lead.
Then, the Golden Panthers went on its run erasing the 16-point deficit with a 27-3 run over the next 8:41.
Trejon Jacob sparked FIU by scoring seven straight points with a layup, a long 3, and a two-handed dunk to cut the deficit to 20-11.
FIU continued its surge and took a 23-22 lead following a 4-point play by Brian Beard Jr. with 8:04 left in the first half. Moments later, Beard Jr. drilled another 3 for a 29-23 advantage.
South Carolina trailed 31-23 before Silva ended the run with a basket.
The Gamecocks committed 12 turnovers and made 1 of 9 shots from the field during the run.
South Carolina: Booker is proving to be a solid addition to the team after averaging 5.7 points a game at FAU last season. The 6-foot-3 senior has made a team-high 17 3-pointers through six games and is shooting 40.5 percent from behind the arc.
FIU: The Golden Panthers will look to build on their impressive 27-3 run in the first half behind their trio of guards as they will be looking for their first win over a Division I school.
After turning it over 14 times in the first half, Carolina had just five turnovers in the second half. The Gamecocks were plus-15 in the rebound column (40-25) and tallied a season-high 22 assists on the team's 32 made field goals.
South Carolina travels to New York City on Nov. 30 for the Second Annual Under Armour Reunion at Madison Square Garden. The Gamecocks will face Temple, which just captured the Charleston Classic title with wins over Old Dominion, Auburn and Clemson. Tip off for that contest is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET, with the matchup set to be broadcast on ESPNU with Doug Sherman (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (analyst) on the call.
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