Gamecocks suffer, 78-68, loss to Clemson
Silva, Gravett and Bryant score in double figures for Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Marcquise Reed scored 20 points in his first game back since a knee injury earlier this month and Clemson held off a late South Carolina charge to win its third straight rivalry game 78-68 on Saturday.
Reed, the team’s leading scorer this season, had missed the past three games since spraining his left knee late in a win over St. Peter’s on Dec. 4. But he showed few effects of the injury after entering the game about three minutes in helping the Tigers (9-3) open a double-digit lead by halftime.
The Gamecocks (4-7) cut a 16-point Clemson lead 73-68 on Chris Silva’s inside bucket with 44.1 seconds left. But the Tigers responded two foul shots by David Skara and a jam by Aamir Simms to seal the win.
Skara had 14 points and Elijah Thomas had 10 of his 11 points in the second half for Clemson.
Silva had 18 points for South Carolina, which lost its fourth in a row and second straight to an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent following a 69-52 defeat to No. 5 Virginia this past Wednesday night.
Reed warmed up with a brace on his left knee and after entering the game the senior quickly got into the flow with a bucket two minutes later and finished the half with 13 points.
The Tigers struggled at times to control Silva down low – and trailed 30-29 after Silva completed a 3-point play with 5:09 to play.
But Clemson closed the half with a 16-4 run the rest of the half to head to the break ahead 45-34.
Skara had a pair of 3s in the surge while John Newman III and Shelton Mitchell each added a long-range basket.
> Carolina connected on four of its first seven attempts from 3-point range in the contest, but was unable to hit from deep the rest of the game.
> Senior Chris Silva matched a season-high with 18 points. He had seven rebounds and went 10-for-13 at the free throw line, marking his first game of 2018-19 (sixth career) with 10 or more made foul shots.
> Redshirt senior Hassani Gravett scored 14 (6-for-11 FG), his sixth double-figure outing of the season.
> Freshman Alanzo Frink had another solid game off the bench, scoring eight points in the second half. He finished with seven rebounds (six offensive).
> Fellow freshman Keyshawn Bryant also lit a spark for Carolina in the second half, scoring eight of his 10 points. He also had six rebounds and a pair of assists.
> Carolina’s defense forced 21 turnovers which led to 28 points on the offensive end of the floor.
The Gamecocks are off until New Year’s Eve when they welcome North Greenville to Colonial Life Arena. The home non-conference finale tips at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.