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Gamecock men, women pick up hoops victories

Dawn Staley’s crew got a big road win against a ranked team, while the men held serve at home.

Nov 13, 2017; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Hassani Gravett (2) and South Carolina Gamecocks guard Frank Booker (5) celebrate a Gravett three pointer against the Western Michigan Broncos in the second half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 South Carolina 94, No. 15 Maryland 86

The Gamecocks took their first trip to College Park for an early season test against the Terrapins, and came away with a hard-fought victory.

While South Carolina went into the locker room with a 51-36 halftime lead and at one point led by as many as 26, Maryland made a hard charge late to pull within three, 87-84, in the final minute. But Ty Harris completed a 3-point play to end the threat and seal the Gamecocks’ win.

A’ja Wilson, referred to as “a woman among girls” by Maryland coach Brenda Frese, paced South Carolina with a career-high 32 points and 12 rebounds on 10-of-19 shooting. Alexis Jennings also notched a double-double, posting 12 points with 13 rebounds. Harris and Lindsey Spann each made three 3-pointers and finished with 20 and 15 points, respectively, with Harris just missing a double-double of her own with nine assists.

The Gamecocks shot 46.3% from the field and 72.7% from the foul line, with a few key misses down the stretch that helped keep Maryland’s hope alive. They forced 12 turnovers, notched seven blocks, and outrebounded the Terrapins 41-36.

For her efforts, the SEC league office named Wilson its player of the week:

Up next: The Gamecocks travel to Clemson Thursday, where they’ll play our favorite furry friends at 7 p.m.


Nov 13, 2017; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Hassani Gravett (2) and Western Michigan Broncos guard Bryce Moore (0) battle for the loose ball in the second half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina 78, Western Michigan 60

The Gamecock men returned to Columbia for their home opener and celebrated last season’s success, as well as a victory over the Broncos.

South Carolina went into halftime with just a nine-point advantage after a sluggish start, but built that up to a 17-point lead before the Broncos started chipping away. The Gamecocks were able to answer Western Michigan’s challenges with their own, however, and the Broncos couldn’t trim the deficit beyond nine points.

South Carolina got a balanced scoring effort from its starters, led by Hassani Gravett with 15 points and who made a few key 3-pointers late to keep Western Michigan at bay. Chris Silva put up a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Maik Kotsar added 10 points of his own as the two dominated the paint. Frank Booker poured in 14 points with three 3-pointers. The Gamecocks’ bench also contributed, with Felipe Haase and David Beatty adding seven points and Kory Holden scoring six as he continues to get acclimated after his knee injury.

South Carolina shot 45.6% from the floor and outrebounded the Broncos 46-32.

Oh yeah, and this is in the rafters now:

Up next: The Gamecocks take on Illinois State at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in an unbracketed matchup part of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Challenge in Conway.