Stony Brook an­swers ev­ery USC run, hands Game­cocks first loss

The State - - Sports - BY AN­DREW RAMSPACHER aramspacher@thes­tate.com

Keyshawn Bryant would throw down a mon­ster slam, Stony Brook would an­swer with a bucket. A.J. Law­son would hit a 3pointer, Stony Brook would an­swer with a bucket. Chris Silva would fin­ish an ex­haust­ing se­quence with a layup through con­tact, Stony Brook would an­swer with a bucket.

The sec­ond op­po­nent on South Carolina’s 201819 sched­ule never went away Fri­day night at Colo­nial Life Arena. It seemed ev­ery time the home team ap­peared to seize mo­men­tum, the vis­i­tors were there to stop it.

Stony Brook 83, South Carolina 81.

“They phys­i­cally beat us,” said Carolina coach Frank Mar­tin.

De­spite be­ing out-re­bounded by 16 and get­ting hardly any­thing from their vet­eran front­court, the Game­cocks still had a chance to force over­time. But a mad push up the floor — as USC was op­er­at­ing with­out time­outs — ended when Justin Mi­naya’s jumper was blocked at the buzzer by Stony Brook’s Jeff Otchere.

“Their guy didn’t sit in the paint,” Mar­tin said. “They matched up in the open court. Give their guy credit, he went out there and blocked Justin’s shot.”

And dropped the Game­cocks to 1-1 on the young sea­son. Law­son led USC with 23 points.

Lay­ing down ap­par­ently isn’t a trait the Sea­wolves posses this year. On Tues­day, Stony Brook (2-0) ral­lied from a 22-0 deficit to beat Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton in over­time.

“One of our mantras is ‘Cham­pi­onship teams find a way to win,’” said Stony Brook coach Jeff Boals. “We knew we’d have to have a good lead com­ing down the stretch. We knew com­ing out of half­time, we had to give a bet­ter ef­fort the sec­ond 20 min­utes than we did the first 20.

“We had mul­ti­ple guys step up and hit big shots to counter the runs.”

The Sea­wolves, up two at the break, led by as many as nine in the sec­ond half.

Tre Camp­bell hit a 3pointer to end a four-point pos­ses­sion for the Game­cocks with 5:14 left, but Stony Brook’s Miles La­timer soon fol­lowed with a cou­ple treys of his own to put the Sea­wolves ahead, 79-70.

“That’s def­i­nitely de- flat­ing,” Camp­bell said.

Stony Brook shot 50 per­cent in the sec­ond half. The Sea­wolves’ Ak­wasi Ye­boah scored a game­high 24 points and grabbed a game-best 11 re­bounds.

“They were run­ning the pick-and-roll, giv­ing it to their best player (Ye­boah) at the block and he was scor­ing ev­ery time he got the ball,” Camp­bell said.

When a Mi­naya put­back made it an 81-78 game with 1:13 left, Ye­boah an­swered with a layup 29 sec­onds later. That’s all the scor­ing the Sea­wolves would need.

“It’s not like they ran a com­pli­cated of­fense, it’s not like they de­fended us in ways we didn’t an­tic­i­pate,” Mar­tin said. “They just phys­i­cally man­han­dled us. They beat us to ev­ery loose ball, they beat us to ev­ery re­bound. They didn’t give in.”

The Game­cocks got the sparse CLA crowd of 9,657 go­ing on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. Bryant, the break­out star in Tues­day’s win against USC Up­state, scored six first-half points, in­clud­ing a high­light reel fin­ish off a Law­son lob to tie things at 26 with three min­utes left. Later in the pe­riod, Law­son drilled one of his three 3s to give Carolina a one-point ad­van­tage with 37 ticks left. But Stony Brook re­sponded with a Ye­boah put-back be­fore the first half buzzer.

It was one of the Sea­wolves’ 22 of­fen­sive re­bounds on the night. They won the glass bat­tle, 4933, as USC’s ex­pe­ri­enced bigs Silva and Maik Kot­sar couldn’t avoid foul trou­ble. Silva didn’t re­turn to the floor af­ter pick­ing up his fourth foul at the 10:18 mark. Kot­sar didn’t record a re­bound in 17 min­utes of ac­tion.

“My fresh­men (Law­son and Bryant) re­ally tried, Tre Camp­bell (15 points) re­ally tried,” Mar­tin said. “We got noth­ing from the older guys.”

Af­ter miss­ing all 18 3-point at­tempts Tues­day, the Game­cocks ended the drought early Fri­day. Camp­bell stuck a cor­ner 3 on USC’s sec­ond try of the night. That brought the Carolina lead to 4-0 with 17:46 to go in the first half.

The Game­cocks re­turn to ac­tion Tues­day when they host Nor­folk State at 7 p.m.

Olaniyi 4-14 8-10 16, Otchere 0-0 0-0 0, Cor­nish 4-11 0-0 8, La­timer 4-10 0-0 11, Ye­boah 8-24 3-3 24, Ochefu 3-3 6-6 12, Christie 0-0 0-0 0, McKen­zie 0-1 0-0 0, Moor 0-1 1-2 1, Gar­cia 4-6 1-2 11. To­tals 27-70 19-23 83.

Mi­naya 5-8 1-2 11, Kot­sar 3-5 1-2 7, Silva 1-5 5-7 7, Law­son 8-17 4-7 23, Camp­bell 5-12 1-2 15, Haase 1-2 0-2 3, Bryant 4-9 1-2 9, Cudd 0-0 0-0 0, Gravett 2-5 1-2 6. To­tals 29-63 14-26 81.

Stony Brook 33-32. Stony Brook 10-22 (Ye­boah 5-10, La­timer 3-5, Gar­cia 2-3, Cor­nish 0-2, Olaniyi 0-2), South Carolina 9-23 (Camp­bell 4-7, Law­son 3-8, Haase 1-2, Gravett 1-2, Mi­naya 0-2, Bryant 0-2).

None. Stony Brook 40 (Ye­boah 11), South Carolina 27 (Mi­naya, Haase 9). Stony Brook 15 (Cor­nish 8), South Carolina 18 (Law­son 6).

Stony Brook 22, South Carolina 21. 9,657 (18,000).

PHO­TOS BY SEAN RAYFORD on­line@thes­tate.com

South Carolina guard Has­sani Gravett drives to the bas­ket against Stony Brook for­ward An­thony Ochefu (35) and Miles La­timer (2) on Fri­day in Columbia, S.C.

South Carolina guard A.J. Law­son drives to the bas­ket against Stony Brook guard An­drew Gar­cia on Fri­day.

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