COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina escaped an early season upset Tuesday night and in some kind of fashion.
Sophomore guard P.J. Dozier hit a game-winning jumper at the buzzer to send South Carolina to a 70-69 overtime win against Monmouth on Tuesday night.
Dozier had struggled throughout the game, not looking for his shot and playing timidly. But he had six overtime points, none bigger than the shot he took as he caught a crosscourt pass from senior guard Duane Notice in midair, shooting it in one fluid motion. It bounced off the rim and through, sending Colonial Life Arena into a state of a mayhem, while Dozier stood in place until his teammates mobbed him.
P.J. Dozier for the win pic.twitter.com/gNMuNCOZQI
— Hale McGranahan (@Hale_AJC) November 16, 2016
Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 23 points. Dozier added six, all in overtime, while Notice had 15 points. Notice blocked Monmouth guard Justin Robinson’s shot late in overtime, setting up the mad dash down the court for a final shot. Notice had a look in the corner, pump faked, stepped between two defenders and tossed the ball toward Dozier, who sent the Gamecocks to the win.
Dozier’s halfcourt heave with .8 seconds left hit the right side of the rim, leaving the game to be decided in overtime.
Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 23 points. Dozier added six, all in overtime, while Notice had 15 points.
P.J. Dozier’s halfcourt heave with .8 seconds left hit the right side of the rim, leaving the game to be decided in overtime.
A Chris Brady putback and Je’lon Hornbeak jumper tied the game 58-58 with 1:23 to play. No one scored again until Thornwell went to the line. He hit the pair before Monmouth’s Micah Seaborn matched them.
South Carolina scored the first 10 points of the second half, seemingly racing away to a win. But Monmouth went on a 16-2 run to pull within 42-38. The Hawks took a 52-50 lead on a Diago Quinn putback, but Thornwell was up to the challenge. The senior guard came down hit a 3-pointer, saved a rebound and drove to the hoop to put USC back in the lead.
The Gamecocks jumped out to a 19-2 lead, but led just 29-22 at halftime as they went 4 for 20 shooting after opening 4 for 10.
Player of the game
The sophomore guard did not score in regulation, but scored six points in overtime, including the game-winning shot.
Stat line of the game
No, it’s not a South Carolina stat line. Monmouth center Chris Brady posted a double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds; but most impressively, he did it on 7-of-10 shooting. It was that efficiency, coupled with South Carolina’s cold shooting, that helped Monmouth stay in the game despite shooting under 31 percent from the field total.
Dozier hit a floating jumper, catching the ball in midair and shooting all in one motion to beat the buzzer and send South Carolina to the win.
What’s next for South Carolina basketball
South Carolina hosts South Carolina State at 6:30 p.m. Friday night at Colonial Life Arena.
South Carolina vs. Monmouth box score