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Men's Basketball

Gravett 3-Point play lifts South Carolina to 80-78 victory

Dec. 09, 2017

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Men's Basketball vs. Coastal Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)Hassani Gravett scored a lay-up, followed by a free throw with 6.5 seconds remaining to give South Carolina an 80-78 victory over Coastal Carolina in Colonial Life Arena on Saturday.

The play allowed the Gamecocks to earn a victory in a game they trailed by as many as five in the second half. They survived Coastal Carolina getting two shots off as time ran out. The win, which improved USC's record to 8-2, was its third straight since returning home.

The loss dropped the Chanticleers to 5-5.

Frank Martin has built his coaching reputation on defense. He has been frustrated that this year's team has not displayed toughness on that side of the court. The Chanticleers exploited South Carolina's defense throughout the first half, connecting on seven of 14 3-point attempts. When Coastal wasn't scoring from long range, its guards managed to beat defenders off the dribble.

The Chanticleers continued to take advantage of USC's defense in the second half, earning its largest lead (69-64) with 7:56 remaining on an Arthur Labinowicz jumper. The Gamecocks pulled within one on several occasions, but appeared unable to regain the lead. USC tied things at 76 with 2:03 remaining on a driving layup by Maik Kotsar.

South Carolina, which trailed in the later stages of the opening 20 minutes, managed to rally and go into the locker room tied at 47. The Gamecocks out-scored Coastal Carolina by 12 on the free throw line.

BIG PICTURE

Coastal, which entered Columbia with a 5-4 record, returns home with confidence after struggling early in the season. The Chanticleers placed four players in double figures, led by Demario Beck with 20. He was followed by Jaylen Shaw (17), Ajay Sanders (14) and Zac Cuthbertson (11).

USC: Coach Frank Martin talked candidly about the regression of his team in the last two weeks. He will have to find a way to get his team back on track during the exam break even though the Gamecocks won. Frank Booker paced USC with 19. Chris Silva (15) and Justin Minaya (13) were also in double figures.

NOTABLE

  • The Gamecocks improve to 8-0 in the 2017-18 season when scoring 70-plus points. Today marks the team's first victory with less than four players in double figures.

  • Frank Booker scored a season-high 19 points, he went 7-for-12 from the field and 3-for-7 from deep. Booker has made three or more 3s in seven of the team's first 10 games.
  • Junior Chris Silva narrowly missed his second consecutive double-double, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds. Silva matched a single-game career-high with 10 made free throws.

  • Justin Minaya joined Booker and Silva in double figures with 13 points. The freshman from New Jersey has scored 10-plus in five consecutive games .

  • Sophomore Evan Hinson, who is also a tight end on the Carolina football team, played five minutes off the bench and scored three points, his first of the 2017-18 season.

UP NEXT

South Carolina will take a 10-day break for final exams before traveling to the Upstate to face Clemson on Dec. 19. Tip time for the matchup is set for 7 p.m. ET at Littlejohn Coliseum.


 

 

 

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