South Carolina uses big run to outlast USC Upstate, 65-52
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina used a 20-0 run to get and stay ahead of USC Upstate in a 65-52 season-opening win Tuesday at Colonial Life Arena.
The Gamecocks, featuring reigning SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year Chris Silva and nine newcomers, struggled to play consistently on each end of the floor. Upstate, playing without star Deion Holmes, didn’t score for over 10 minutes in the first half as a quick 9-2 lead vanished.
South Carolina freshman Keyshawn Bryant had a fabulous debut with a game-high 21 points, the first two coming on a soaring one-handed dunk that ignited the home crowd. The Gamecocks used the energy and the Spartans’ lengthy scoreless drought to take a lead they wouldn’t lose.
Upstate was led by 16 points from Malik Moore and 13 from Everette Hammond.
South Carolina got 13 points from Silva, with 11 boards. Guard Hassani Gravett had 12 rebounds.
The Gamecocks were 0-for-18 from the 3-point line and missed 10 of their 37 free throws. The teams combined for 41 turnovers.
> Freshman wing Keyshawn Bryant scored a game-high 21 points in 21 minutes off the bench in his collegiate debut
> The Winter Haven, Fla., native went 8-for-12 from the floor while adding seven rebounds, a block and an assist
> Senior forward Chris Silva had 13 points and 11 rebounds for his 16th career double-double – he has four consecutive double-doubles dating back to a 19-point, 11-rebound outing at No. 14 Auburn (3/3/18)
> Silva went 9-for-12 at the charity stripe, marking his 20th career game with double-digit attempts at the free throw line – he had 14 games last season with 10 or more attempts, including a career-high 20 vs. Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament (3/7/18)
> Senior guard Hassani Gravett had a career-high 12 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench
> Highly touted freshman guard A.J. Lawson started and scored nine points in his first game as a Gamecock
> Carolina’s defense held Upstate to 33 percent shooting (19-for-58)
> The Gamecocks outrebounded the Spartans, 50-34
> Carolina took command of the game with a 20-0 run in the first half, holding Upstate scoreless for 10:31
Carolina remains at home and will host a pair of non-conference contests that are part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off when Stony Brook (Nov. 9) and Norfolk State (Nov. 13) visit Colonial Life Arena. Both matchups tip at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.