BASKETBALL MEN IN SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina resisted the Carolina coast 85-79, behind A.J. Lawson and Hassani Gravett.
South Carolina led up to eight people in the first half, while South Carolina had a very cold start to shooting. But six consecutive three-point possessions (five three plus one and one) created the tie.
In a game that does not have a lot of defense, it is the few stretches where players can chain the stops that makes the difference. They held the scoreless Chanticleers on the 3:37 finals of the first half and took a 50-41 lead in the break. However, that lead was short-lived as the Gamecocks made six turnovers in the first six minutes of the second half. The Chanticleers eliminated the deficit and took a 59-58 lead with 13:53 to go.
The match was tied at age 61 when the teams crammed themselves for the time-out of the media under 12 years old. In South Carolina, Chris Silva has been replaced by a position. Silva scored easily, boosting the Gamecocks. After a failure, Lawson was the victim of a foul on the rebound. He found himself at the front of the match, then missed the second goal, but Silva took the offensive rebound and dived. Silva played a solid defense, forcing a failed layup, resulting in a pair of free throws from Lawson. After another failure, Lawson found Silva open for a free throw jumper on a line to limit a 9-0 run. This race made the difference, with South Carolina pushing back from the Carolina coast.
This stretch was a flash of domination of which Silva is capable, but was absent this season. Silva finished with just nine points and five rebounds, but recorded a record six blocks in just 19 minutes.
"I tried to go back to what I had been before and enjoy the game," Silva said. "I thought too hard and put too much pressure on myself. I have a little forgotten how to enjoy the game, and the coach reminded me of it. "
South Carolina again took a defensive defense, although this time it was largely defending its attack. Lawson and Gravett both fouled Zac Cuthbertson, Coastal Carolina's top scorer. Cuthbertson, who had 24 points and 12 rebounds, had to sit nine minutes from South Carolina's best defense during which he conceded 40 rebounds and 13 points of luck.
"We are a soft basketball team," Frank Martin said. "We do not rebound and we do not play competitive games on the balls in the scales."
In South Carolina, the coastal coast was shot at 39% and forced 18 turnovers, but it was not easy. The most frequent defenders were one of the veterans, Silva, Gravett or Maik Kotsar, who was shouting at the freshmen to put them in the right position.
"With so many young guys, they are so trained to try to do what is asked of them, keeping their match, they do not talk as much," said Gravett. "Someone has to do it. Guys like me and Chris and Maik, guys who are here and who know the system, need to be heard. "
South Carolina won 10-26 on three, but only 2-8 in the second half. Instead, it's the free throw line where South Carolina has done its damage. He shot 33 free throws for the match and 24 in the second period only. Lawson made 15 free throws, a career high. He scored 11 to go to 73 percent of the line, which was way better than the 50 percent that he was coming back. The frequent come and go (plus 10 turnovers) meant that South Carolina were trying to score 18 goals in the second half, a statistical quirk.
Lawson and Gravett were sensational. Lawson scored 25 points, 11-15 from the free throw line, with six rebounds and two assists. Gravett, who started the match against Wofford, resumed his role as sixth man and was the soothing influence that South Carolina needed. He scored 23 points, 15 in the second half and four assists. Cliff Ellis of Coastal Carolina said the plan was to focus the defense on the pole and force the guards to shoot.
"We know with this team that the game goes through Silva and Kotsar," said Ellis. "You have to make other people beat you up. Gravett did what he was supposed to do. At the same time, Lawson also played well. "
Earlier Friday, Silva had been named one of the 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS award. The award is presented to seniors who have achieved outstanding results in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. … South Carolina shook the starter course by introducing freshman T.J. Moss and Keyshawn Bryant alongside Lawson, Kotsar and Silva. This allowed Gravett to return to the bench and reduce the role of Tre Campbell. … Freshman Alanzo Frink had the first game of his career. He arrived with 14:11 to play in the first period and finished with a rebound, a help and a flight in nine minutes, all in the first period. … The participation was 9.315. … The next game for South Carolina is December 5th in Wyoming.
What the Gamecocks said