South Carolina extended its season for one more night as it came out on top in the first round of the SEC Basketball Tournament with an 85-84 win over Ole Miss on Wednesday.
With the win, South Carolina improved to 17-15 on the season, while Ole Miss’ season comes to an end at 12-20. The Gamecocks will advance to take on Arkansas on Thursday night.
It was a close game for much of the first 30 minutes of action. South Carolina did take a 38-36 edge into halftime, and the game remained close for the first part of the second half.
The Gamecocks began to turn the game with about 10 minutes left in the second half as they used a 10-0 run to turn a 3-point deficit into a 68-61 lead. The run was broken up by this massive slam dunk from Terence Davis of Ole Miss.
TERENCE DAVIS JUST DID THAT!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/F5aU0xHLwY
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 8, 2018
From there, South Carolina never relinquished the lead as Ole Miss could only cut the lead to 3 before a meaningless last-second 3-pointer. South Carolina also relied heavily on its 3-point shooting, which was the difference. The Gamecocks connected on 12 of 21 3-point attempts, while Ole Miss only went 12 of 31 from 3-point range. Ole Miss was able to keep the score close because of how well it played on the offensive glass. The Rebels brought in 17 offensive rebounds.
Ole Miss demonstrated a more balanced scoring approach, as all nine players who saw the court scored. South Carolina only received points from six players but five of them finished in double figures. The Gamecocks were led by Chris Silva, who scored 21 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and attempted 20 free throws. He also scored his 1,000th point of his career. The Gamecocks received an additional 21 points from Frank Booker, who knocked down 6 3-pointers off the bench.
The Rebels’ leading scorer was sophomore Breein Tyree, who finished with 18 points. Tony Madlock finished out his last game as the interim coach for Ole Miss after replacing Andy Kennedy late in the regular season.
Now, the Gamecocks to focus on Arkansas on Thursday night. The game is set to tip 25 minutes after the conclusion of the Mississippi State LSU game. The Gamecocks lost the only meeting between the two teams, as the Razorbacks came out with an 81-65 win. The winner of that game will play Florida on Friday.