Gamecocks top Missouri, extend surprising SEC start
No one else might have believed in South Carolina as they entered Southeastern Conference play as the only team with a losing record, but Gamecocks coach Frank Martin made sure his team didn’t lose faith.
Keyshawn Bryant scored 15 points, and Chris Silva added 14 as South Carolina (8-7, 3-0) continued its surprising league start with an 85-75 win over Missouri on Sunday. It’s only the third time in 28 seasons the Gamecocks have won their first three SEC games.
“Young guys, man,” Frank Martin said when asked what has happened to a South Carolina team that went 5-7 in non-conference with losses to Stony Brook and Wofford. “Being a good team is not like flipping a light switch.”
On Sunday, it was a combination of the freshman Bryant’s 7-of-9 shooting and Silva’s taking advantage of Missouri’s big man, Jeremiah Tilmon, fouling out with 12:57 left trying to post up on Silva.
“It doesn’t matter what situation we are in — Coach always believes in us,” Silva said.
The Gamecocks led the entire second half, but the Tigers (9-5, 0-2) kept hanging around. Three times Missouri cut the lead to three but couldn’t get closer.
The last time came on Javon Pickett’s 3-pointer with 3:17 left. 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.
Hasse added 14 points and six rebounds for the Gamecocks.