Game Recap: Men's Basketball | | By: JEFFREY COLLINS (Associated Press) From USC Sports Information | GCF Staff Report
South Carolina Upends No. 14 Mississippi State, 87-82, in OT
Maik Kotsar scored a career-high 25 points to lead five Gamecocks in double figures
POSTGAME: Frank Martin on Mississippi State — 1/8/19
POSTGAME: Maik Kotsar, Hassani Gravett on Mississippi State — 1/8/19
RECAP: Maik Kotsar Postgame With SEC Network — 1/8/19
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) --FreshmanA.J. Lawsonstole the ball and finished with an emphatic dunk with nine seconds left in overtime to seal South Carolina's 87-82 upset of No. 14 Mississippi State on Tuesday night.
Maik Kotsarscored a career-high 25 points and had nine rebounds for the Gamecocks (7-7, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), who were the only SEC team with a losing record in nonconference play but now sit atop the league.
Lawson, who came in as the team's leading scorer, averaging 13 points a game, scored just six points on 3-of-11 shooting. But he may have turned around what appeared to be a lost season for South Carolina with his steal and dunk as the Bulldogs (12-2, 0-1) tried to get a potential game-tying 3.
Kotsar came up big in overtime too, with a mid-range jumper with 42.1 seconds to go that put South Carolina ahead, 85-82.
Aric Holman had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Mississippi State. Nick Weatherspoon scored 17 points, and Lamar Peters had 16 points and seven assists.
Mississippi State trailed 61-54 with just under 12 minutes to go, but climbed back in it with some timely 3s. Both teams had good looks to take the lead late in regulation.
Silva had a rebound just under the basket slip out of his hands with 30 seconds to go in regulation. Peters missed a tough running layup with 5 seconds left, and Gravett's half-court heave at the buzzer rolled around the rim before falling away.
KEY STAT > The Gamecocks forced four of MSU's 16 turnovers in overtime. FreshmanA.J. Lawsonmade the biggest play of the game with a steal and monster dunk on the other end to put Carolina ahead, 87-82, and the game on ice with nine seconds left in overtime.
NOTABLES > Junior forwardMaik Kotsarwas outstanding, scoring a career-high 25 points. The Tallinn, Estonia, native was 7-for-9 in the second half and overtime with 17 points. > He scored six of the team's 12 points in the extra period – a pair of free throws, a clutch tip-in and baseline jumper. Kotsar also had nine rebounds, two assists and a big block late in the second half. > Redshirt seniorHassani Gravettfollowed up a 22-point outing in the team's win at Florida earlier this week with 17 points off the bench against the Bulldogs. > The Villa Rica, Ga., native went 6-for-13 from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds. He also made a pair of 3s, his eighth game of the season with multiple makes from behind the arc. > Sophomore forwardFelipe Haasealso gave the Gamecocks big minutes off the bench, finishing with 11 points and six rebounds. > Senior big manChris Silvahad 11 points, 12 rebounds, four assists (ties career high) and three blocks for his fourth double-double (19thcareer) this season. He played the final 9:34 with four fouls. > Graduate transfer guardTre Campbellhad 10 points, three assists and a team-high three steals. > South Carolina is now 2-0 in SEC play for the first time since the historic 2016-17 season. > Tonight's victory over Mississippi State was the Gamecocks first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 10/11 Auburn at home on Feb.17, 2018. > It also marks Carolina's first OT win since defeating LSU, 83-74, on Feb. 28, 2018 in Columbia.
UP NEXT Carolina concludes its brief homestand when it welcomes in Missouri to Colonial Life Arena this Saturday for a 1 p.m. ET matchup. The conference battle will be televised on the SEC Network with Richard Cross (play-by-play) and Debbie Antonelli (analyst) on the call.