Game­cocks top Mis­souri, ex­tend sur­pris­ing SEC start

The Sun News - - Sports - BY JEF­FREY COLLINS

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.

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