The South Carolina Gamecocks had another tough battle with an in-state opponent in the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Friday, but came away with a much-needed 85-79 win in Columbia.
After suffering a 20-point loss to Wofford earlier in the week, the Gamecocks got off to another shaky start against the Chants, at one point trailing by eight. Coastal used incredible 3-point shooting (11-of-23, good for nearly 48%) to grab that lead and then keep pressure on the Gamecocks throughout, who despite recovering to take a nine-point advantage into halftime, could never quite shake the Chanticleers.
Ultimately, performance at the free-throw line gave South Carolina the leg up: The Gamecocks made 25 of their 33 attempts, a welcome sight after they’ve struggled from the stripe for much of this season.
After a rough performance against Wofford, freshman A.J. Lawson returned to his stellar play, netting a career-high and game-high 25 points while also grabbing six rebounds. Junior guard Hassani Gravett, who’s been another surprising early-season MVP, came off the bench to add 23 points, making four of his seven 3-pointers. While veteran big man Chris Silva finished with nine points and five rebounds, he looked more like his old self than he has all year, highlighted by an energetic dunk off of a missed free throw.
South Carolina (4-3) next travels to Wyoming on Wednesday. Tipoff is 9 p.m.