ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Frank Booker scored 17 points while making two late 3-pointers and South Carolina withstood Georgia’s strong second-half start to beat the Bulldogs 64-57 on Saturday.
South Carolina (11-6, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) won despite shooting a season-low 27.1 percent from the field. Chris Silva scored 14 points and Hassani Gravett had 11 as the Gamecocks took their first SEC road win.
There were three ties but Georgia (11-5, 2-3) never led while suffering its first home loss of the season after eight wins. It was the Bulldogs’ second straight loss.
Yante Maten led the Bulldogs with 25 points but had too little scoring help, especially from Georgia’s other frontline starters, Derek Ogbeide and freshman Rayshaun Hammonds, who combined for only three points.
A short jumper by Maten provided the last tie at 49-all before Booker answered with a quick 3-pointer. Booker sank another 3 with 1:22 remaining.
Powered by two early 3-pointers from Evan Hinson, South Carolina took a 9-2 lead.
Georgia pulled even with a 10-2 run to open the second half. Juwan Parker, who had 11 points, was fouled while making a baseline jumper. Parker made the free throw to tie the game at 39-all. It was the first point of the game where the score was even since 2-2.
The Gamecocks regrouped to prevent Georgia from taking the lead. A 3-pointer by Gravett and a basket by Justin Manaya gave South Carolina a 49-43 advantage.
About midway through the second half, Maten crashed into Georgia coach Mark Fox while chasing a loose ball. Fox was knocked back on the sideline, leaving his legs sticking straight up in the air, but he was not hurt and slapped Maten on the back while sending the senior back onto the court.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks made an impressive recovery from a 76-62 loss at Alabama on Tuesday night. It was their second straight win in Athens. They won 67-61 at Georgia last season. … The two early 3s by Hinson and eight points in the first half set career high for a game. He was averaging only 2.7 points per game and had never made more than one 3-pointer in a game. He finished with eight points. … The Gamecocks made 26 of 35 free throws, helping to compensate for the poor field-goal shooting.
Georgia: The Bulldogs’ two straight losses have put them behind in the SEC race and in their hopes to show they deserve a spot in the NCAA tournament. They were hurt by the lack of scoring balance, especially on the front line. The Gamecocks shut down Ogbeide and Hammonds in the first 20 minutes. Each missed his only shot from the field in the half and was scoreless. The lack of inside help put too much scoring pressure on Maten, who had 14 points in the half.
The South Carolina bench outscored Georgia 32-20, thanks to a combined 28 points by Frank Booker (17) and Hassani Gravett (11). The Gamecocks also posted season-highs in offensive rebounds (18) and made free throws (26).
- Today’s victory marks Carolina’s first road win in league play and its second-straight win at Stegeman Coliseum.
- Graduate transfer guard Frank Booker scored ten of his team-high 17 points in the second half. He also pulled down a career-high seven rebounds. Booker made a huge 3 down the stretch to push the lead to nine, 59-50, with 1:22 remaining.
- Redshirt junior point guard Hassani Gravett scored 11 points in his return to his home state of Georgia on Saturday.
- Junior big man Chris Silva matched a career-high with 35 minutes. He was effective on both ends of the floor finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds, a career-high four assists and two big blocks.
- Silva went 8-for-10 at the free throw line marking his eighth game of the season with eight or more makes at the charity stripe. He, Booker (5-for-7) and Gravett (5-for-6) went a combined 18-for-23 (78 percent) at the foul line.
- Sophomore wing Evan Hinson, who started his third-straight game Saturday afternoon, scored a career-high eight points in 19 minutes.
South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena for two SEC matchups next week against ranked opponents. The Gamecocks host No. 21/20 Kentucky on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. (ESPN), before No. 24/23 Tennessee travels to Columbia on Saturday for a 6 p.m. matchup on ESPN2.