In a battle of the SEC’s two worst shooting teams, the South Carolina Gamecocks prevailed against the Vanderbilt Commodores to pick up their first SEC win of the season in Columbia on Saturday.
Veteran forward Chris Silva starred for the Gamecocks (10-5, 1-2 SEC), scoring a career-high 27 points and finishing two rebounds shy of a double-double. He also made nine of his 12 free-throw attempts and finished with just one (!) personal foul after not getting whistled for any (!!!!) in the first half.
Guard Wesley Myers scored 17 points in his most productive game as a Gamecock, going 4-of-5 from the field and 8-of-12 from the line. Evan Hinson, who pulls double duty as a tight end on the football team, got his first start and saw 13 minutes of playing time with six points scored. Seven-foot freshman Jason Cudd, another seldom-used reserve, saw some extended action as well, scoring three points, blocking a shot, and collecting a few rebounds.
Vanderbilt (6-9, 1-2) led 28-26 at halftime, and both teams endured stretches without making a basket. South Carolina was able to build a modest five-point lead after the break and held on to it for much of the second half, padding it late to ensure victory. It goes without saying that this is a solid and hopefully confidence-boosting win for the Gamecocks; after the narrow loss at Ole Miss and then getting dragged up and down the court by Missouri, they needed this one.
Of note, Hassani Gravett sat out his third straight game as he continues to recover from an ankle sprain. Frank Booker’s mini-slump also continued: Held to just four points, he also missed all four of his 3-point attempts, although he played solid defense.
Up next: The Gamecocks hit the road to Alabama at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.