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March 13, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – South Carolina advanced to Friday’s Quarterfinal Round of the SEC Tournament with an upset win over sixth-seeded Ole Miss on Thursday night behind game-winning free throws from senior guard Tyrone Johnson. The victory advanced Carolina to the Quarterfinals for the second-straight season. Friday’s contest will be broadcast on the SEC Network with Dave Neal (pxp), Darrin GAME INFORMATION
Game Date: Friday, March 13, 2015
Game Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Arena: Bridgestone Arena (19,395)
Broadcast: SEC Network/WatchESPN/ESPN3
Talent: Dave Neal (pxp), Darrin Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: 93; XM: 190
Live Stats:
Series: Georgia leads 54-50
Last Meeting: 64-58 Carolina win on Feb. 17, 2015, in Athens, Ga.

| Tickets | Game Notes | @GamecockMBB | SEC Tournament Bracket (printable)

– South Carolina is in its 107th season of varsity basketball in 2014-15.
– The Gamecocks are led by third-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Matt Figger, his assistant coaches are Perry Clark and Lamont Evans, and his director of operations is Andy Assaley.
– It took all 40 minutes, but the Gamecocks posted a 60-58 victory over sixth-seeded Ole Miss on Thursday night to advance to the Quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. Senior guard Tyrone Johnson did not connect on a field goal the entire night, but the senior leader of the squad came up big at the end, connecting on three free throws with 0.7 seconds remaining after being fouled on an attempt from beyond the arc as time expired. Junior forward Michael Carrera led Carolina with 16 points and he and junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius pulled down a team high seven rebounds.
– South Carolina forced Ole Miss into 21 turnovers on Thursday night, which is the second-most by a Carolina opponent this season. The Rebels were averaging just 11 turnovers per contest entering Thursday night’s matchup.
– South Carolina is 0-1 all-time vs. Georgia in the SEC Tournament. The only meeting in the postseason event between the two rivals came in 1997. UGA won that semifinal contest, 78-63, in Memphis.
– South Carolina has hit at least six 3s in eight-straight games dating back to a season high nine made 3s in the Feb. 17 victory at Georgia. During that stretch, sophomore guard Duane Notice has hit 42.6% (23-54) from beyond the arc.
– The 11th-seeded Gamecocks posted a 63-54 victory over Missouri on Wednesday night in the opening round of the 2015 SEC Tournament behind 18 points from sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell. Thornwell hit a season high, and matched a career high with four made 3s in the contest. The Gamecock defense allowed the Tigers to hit just 36.0% (18-50) from the field, compared to a solid effort from Carolina, connecting on 45.7% (21-46) in the win.
– South Carolina has won four of its last five games – vs. Mississippi State (Feb. 28), at Tennessee (March 7), vs. Missouri (March 11) and vs. Ole Miss (March 12). The loss in the stretch came against 18th-ranked Arkansas (March 5).
– South Carolina owns a 20-23 (.465) all-time record in the SEC Tournament, which includes two victories last season at the event in Atlanta. The first-round win versus Auburn in 2014 marked Carolina’s first tourney win since the 2008 campaign, and with its second-round win over Arkansas, Carolina clinched multiple tournament wins for the first time since 2006.
– The Gamecocks are 4-2 in netural site games this season after the win vs. Ole Miss on Thursday. Carolina was 1-2 in three games at the Charleston Classic in late November, posting a win vs. Cornell, and suffering losses to Charlotte and Akron. South Carolina rebounded with an impressive 64-60 upset win over then-No. 9 Iowa State at the Barclays Center on Jan. 3 in the non-conference finale.
– After Thursday’s win vs. Ole Miss, the Gamecocks own an 2-2 record all-time in SEC Tournament games played at Bridgestone Arena, and a 6-4 mark in games played in Nashville (Carolina is 4-2 in games played at the Sommet Center). The Tournament was last held in the Music City in 2013.

The Bulldogs are 20-10 on the year and finished the SEC campaign with an 11-7 record. Georgia has won four of its last five games, with the loss in the stretch a 72-64 decision against top-ranked Kentucky. Friday will mark Georgia’s first game in the SEC Tournament, as it received a double-bye by finishing third in the league standings. All five of Georgia’s everyday starters average double-figures, as senior forward Marcus Thornton posts a team high 12.2 points, senior forward Nemanja Djurisic (11.4), junior guards Charles Mann (11.2) and Kenny Gaines (11.7) and sophomore guard J.J. Frazier (10.0) also contribute double figures. Thornton also pulls down a team best 7.0 rebounds per game. He was named to the Coaches’ All-SEC Second Team and the All-Defensive Team earlier this week. Gaines was unavailable for the regular-season finale at Auburn due to a left foot sprain and is listed as day-to-day. Head coach Mark Fox is in his sixth season at Georgia.

Georgia leads the all-time series with South Carolina 54-50, but the Gamecocks have won two straight matchups entering Friday’s contest. The Bulldogs own a 4-3 advantage in games played at a neutral site. South Carolina swept the 2015 regular season series between the two schools, with a Jan. 31, 67-50, win at home and a 64-58 victory at Stegeman Coliseum on Feb. 17.

The winner of the South Carolina vs. Georgia contest will advance to the semifinals to play the winner of the Tennessee (10th seed) vs. Arkansas (2nd Seed) game. That contest will be played directly before the Gamecocks face the Bulldogs on Friday night. Carolina split the season series with Tennessee, both teams winning the road matchup, and Arkansas swept the season series vs. the Gamecocks. That game will be at approximately 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on ESPN.