Feb. 23, 2018
South Carolina at Mississippi State
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina travels to face Mississippi State on Saturday in Starkville in the second meeting between the two schools this SEC season. MSU captured an 81-76 win in the first meeting in Columbia on Jan. 31.
> South Carolina rides a two-game win streak into Saturday's matchup at Mississippi State. Four scored in double figures in the Gamecocks' most recent win, a 66-57 decision to Georgia. Junior forward Chris Silva and graduate student guard Wesley Myers led the way for Carolina with 15 points each. Myers matched a career high with five made 3s in the contest, including three in the second half.
> A season high 13 3s, and a season low five turnovers were the difference in the matchup vs. UGA on Wednesday. Myers (5) and fellow graduate guard Frank Booker (4) combined for nine of Carolina's 13 3s. The five giveaways matched for an all-time low for the Gamecocks under the direction of head coach Frank Martin, matching last season's Final Four squad, who also had a season low five turnovers vs. Gonzaga on the big stage.
> If the regular season ended today, the Gamecocks would hold the No. 11 seed in the SEC Tournament and would be slated to face 14th-seeded Vanderbilt. Auburn paces the SEC with a 12-3 overall record, followed by Tennessee at 10-5, and there are currently six teams tied with matching 8-7 records.
> In the first meeting this season vs. Mississippi State, Booker erupted for a career high 25 points, hitting eight shots overall, including five 3s. MSU led by as many as nine midway through the second half, but the Gamecocks battled back to make it a one-possession game in the final minutes.
> Over the course of the last five games, Booker paces the Gamecocks with 14.6 points per game, and Silva adds 11.8 per outing. During the stretch, the duo are a combined 51-of-61 (83.6%) at the free throw line.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
> Carolina is 15-13 overall this season and 6-9 in SEC contests after posting back-to-back wins at home over then-No. 10 Auburn and Georgia.
> Carolina is currently in a tie for 10th place in the SEC standings and would own the No. 11 seed in the league tournament if it started today.
> South Carolina has four Quadrant 1 wins and two Quadrant 2 wins this season. The Gamecocks are undefeated in Q4 and Q5 contests.
> Carolina is 2-5 in SEC road games this season, with wins at Georgia and Florida.
> Silva's 15.3 points per game lead Carolina in league contests this season. Booker adds 12.8 per outing and Myers provides 9.4.
> Silva is averaging 13.4 points and 8.6 rebounds in SEC road contests. He is also a combined 50-of-62 (80.6%) at the line in road league games.
> Sophomore forward Maik Kotsar pulled down a season high nine rebounds in the win vs. Georgia on Wednesday, including a career high, seven on the offensive glass. Kotsar averages 4.5 rebounds per game in league action this season.
> 10 different Gamecocks average at least 10.4 minutes per game, and six average 20+ minutes per game.
> In the SEC statistics (overall games), Carolina is fifth in scoring defense (67.8 ppg), seventh in rebound margin (+3.0) and fifth in turnovers margin (+1.9).
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
> Mississippi State is 20-8 on the year and 8-7 in SEC contests. The Bulldogs have won two straight, a home win vs. Ole Miss and a 93-81 decision at Texas A&M on Tuesday.
> Ben Howland is in his third season at MSU.
> The Weatherspoon brothers pace MSU with Quindarry averaging 14.8 per game, and younger brother, Nick adding 11.2 per outing.
> In SEC games, The duo averages 15.3, and 11.6, respectively, to lead the team.
> Mississippi State is 17-1 at home this season and 6-1 in SEC home games, with its lone loss coming in a 76-68 decision vs. Auburn on Jan. 13.
> Sophomore guard Lamar Peters ranks fifth in the SEC (overall games) with 4.2 assists per game. He is also fifth in strictly SEC games with 4.5 per outing.
> In the SEC stats (overall games), Mississippi State is third in scoring defense (67.1 ppg), second in scoring margin (+8.3), sixth in rebound margin (+3.6), fourth in blocked shots (5.3) and in steals (6.6).
> MSU leads the all-time series vs. South Carolina, 20-14.
> The Bulldogs own a 10-4 advantage in games played in Starkville.
> Carolina won last season's meeting at Humphrey Coliseum, 77-73, behind 28 points from then-senior Sindarius Thornwell.
> South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday for Senior Night vs. LSU. The meeting will be the first between the two schools this season. Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (analyst) will have the call for the 6:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network broadcast.