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Game preview: Gamecocks face Tigers in rivalry showdown

The South Carolina men travel to Clemson tonight looking to avenge last season’s loss.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina (8-2) at Clemson (9-1)

Start time: 7 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Live stream: watchespn.com

Live audio: 107.5 The Game (Columbia)

Last game

The Gamecocks are returning to the court after a 10-day break for final exams. The last time South Carolina was in action, it survived a stiff challenge from Coastal Carolina at home, pulling out an 80-78 victory. Hassani Gravett was the unexpected hero with a late 3-point play, and Frank Booker (19 points, 3-of-7 from beyond the arc) and Chris Silva (15 points, nine rebounds) also stood out for South Carolina.

What to watch for

At 9-1 and lurking just outside of the Top 25 after its wins against Ohio State and Florida last week, Clemson will be a tough out. Five Tigers average double figures, led by Donte Grantham with 15.5 points per game. The Gamecocks have a slight rebounding edge (38.3 per game versus Clemson’s 36.9), but the Tigers are shooting 50.2% from the floor, good for third in the ACC, to the Gamecocks’ 44.5. At home and on a five-game winning streak, Clemson has a lot of early-season momentum right now despite being picked to finish 13th in the rugged ACC. South Carolina is well-rested, and the matchup between Silva and Grantham will be key.