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Bryant, Lawson spark South Carolina’s comeback win over Arkansas

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Bryant, Lawson spark South Carolina’s comeback win over Arkansas

February 09, 2019

In a sloppy game, South Carolina found beautiful moments.

Hassani Gravett grabbed a rebound, whipped an pass to midcourt for A.J. Lawson, who knew what was coming. He had a 2-on-1 break and the his open teammate was Keyshawn Bryant.

Alley-oop.

Colonial Life Arena rocked as it briefly forget the ugliness the Gamecocks flashed for large chunks of the contest with Arkansas. USC wasn’t perfect against the Razorbacks. It committed numerous turnovers and made some poor decisions, but it managed another SEC home win.

Take a bow, Lawson and Bryant.

USC’s electric freshmen willed the Gamecocks to a 77-65 win over Arkansas.

The rookies combined for 41 points as South Carolina (12-11 overall) improved to 7-3 in the SEC. Arkansas dropped to 14-9 and 5-5 in the league.

The Gamecocks trailed this game by 13 points in the second half before Lawson and Bryant spurred a 22-4 run — stamped by the oop — that put them up five. When Arkansas rallied back to tie things at 59, it was Bryant who scored Carolina’s next six points.

He finished with 17. Lawson had 24. The duo totaled 31 of USC’s 45 second half points.

Prior to Saturday’s tip, Frank Martin voiced his concerns about the randomness to Arkansas’ defense. The Razorbacks weren’t a threat in the way Kentucky was to USC a game earlier. Instead of physicality, Arkansas presented a mystery. The Hogs would press, trap and zone, affecting an offense’s flow.

That all proved true in the first half as the Gamecocks committed 15 turnovers that the Razorbacks turned into 16 points.

But despite the ugliness, USC was only down four at the break. The Razorbacks, playing a good chunk of the half without All-SEC big man Daniel Gafford (foul trouble), had enough offensive lulls to keep Carolina around. Arkansas led by 12 with 7:47 left, but was outscored 17-9 through the first half buzzer.

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I really like both Lawson and Bryant - we haven't yet seen the best from these kids, and I wish we had them with Silva a little longer than just one season. Makes me excited to see more of Moss (he shined a bit in his few games that he played in), and Couisnard, if he ever makes it to being eligible to play for us. Frink needs to improve on his defensive play substantially, but if anyone can help him, it would be Coach Martin. Kotsar and Haase are becoming more dependable contributors in games, even if it's unlikely that they'll develop into leaders.

A roster next season of Lawson, Bryant, Kotsar, Haase, Minaya, Moss, Frink, Couisnard (??), with the additions of Bolden, Hannibal, Leveque, and Anderson should be a pretty quick and athletic group...

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