SC tops Georgia in wire-to-wire fashion

UGA Basketball USC 2018

South Carolina hands Georgia first home loss, 64-57

Juwan Parker: While Parker didn't start, he entered the game relatively quickly and made a difference in keeping Georgia in the game.

Senior guard Frank Booker scored 17 points off the bench as the South Carolina Gamecocks snapped a three-game road losing streak, defeating the host Georgia Bulldogs 64-57 on Saturday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.

SC led 37-29 at halftime, thanks in part to 10 points by Silva.

For the next four minutes, Georgia kept within one, staying just behind SC until Gamecocks guard Hassani Gravett nailed a 3-point shot for a 49-43 lead with less than eight minutes to play. From there, the Bulldogs were constantly playing catch-up.

A short jumper by Georgia's Yante Maten provided the last tie at 49-all.

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Gamecocks forward Chris Silva had 10 first-half points and six rebounds, three on the offensive end, and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Parker finished with 11 points. Booker made all three free throws and on the next possession hit a jumper to stretch the Gamecocks' lead to 28-20.

The Gamecocks also had a 13-2 edge in offensive rebounds, which led to 11 points.

Silva gathered a missed 3-pointer and fed guard Hassani Gravett for a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left in the first half for a 37-29 advantage. By the eight-minute mark, SC only led by one, at 21-20 thanks to Maten's play. But what it did do well was rebound. This led to 14 second-chance points, which turned out to be a deciding factor in the game. It also cut South Carolina's lead to one multiple times.

The Bulldogs notched the game up two separate times in the second half but were unable to take the lead. Twice during the game, Parker went up for a shot and made it as a SC defender slammed into him.

"We anticipated it would be a slugfest and when you have a game like that you have to rebound and make free throws and we didn't do that", Georgia coach Mark Fox said.

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SC only had seven turnovers in the game, compared with 14 for Georgia. In the second half, Georgia made only 10 of its 19 attempts.

SC shot less than 40 percent from the field for a seventh straight game, but it had enough defense, rebounding and clutch offense to cement its third straight win over Georgia. Georgia made only 35.3 percent of its shots. The Gamecocks made 26 of 35 free throws, helping to compensate for the poor field-goal shooting. SC pushed past the Bulldogs to regain the advantage. Smart was in the building hosting a few football recruits. We got back in position to try and win the game, and our free-throw shooting in the second half was really, really sub-par.

Georgia forward Derek Ogbeide on suffering back-to-back losses: "We just have to get back up".

SC never trailed on a day it crashed the offensive boards and forced Georgia into 13 turnovers.

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