A.J. Lawson and Keyshawn Bryant. As the kids say, name a more iconic duo.
South Carolina’s two promising freshmen teamed up to power the Gamecocks to victory on Saturday, as USC flipped the script and rallied from 13 points down to come away with a 77-65 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks in Columbia.
The Gamecocks trailed 35-31 at the half, plagued once again by turnovers and reprising some of the same sloppy play that got them in trouble against Kentucky. But as they’ve done multiple times this season, the Gamecocks came alive for the second half. Lawson and Bryant teamed up to score 31 of South Carolina’s 46 points in the period — Lawson finished with 24 points to lead all scorers, while Bryant poured in 17 — and with some help from Chris Silva, keyed USC to a game-sealing 18-4 run.
Silva chipped in 16 points to round out the double-figure scoring for South Carolina, and finished just shy of a double-double with eight rebounds.
Most impressively, South Carolina went 10-of-15 from 3, with Lawson leading the charge with a 4-of-5 performance. Overall, the Gamecocks shot 55 percent from the field, which was an encouraging return to how the offense had been trending before Kentucky.
The Gamecocks remain in fourth place in the SEC standings behind conference heavyweights Tennessee, Kentucky, and LSU. If the regular season ended today, South Carolina would be in line for a double-bye in the conference tournament.
Unfortunately, the schedule doesn’t get easier from here. The Gamecocks (12-11, 7-3 SEC) hit the road for their second date with No. 1 Tennessee on Wednesday. For now, though, they’re back in the win column after a tough loss to the Wildcats, and still in good shape for that top-four seeding.