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South Carolina holds off Georgia rallies in 86-80 win

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Now that Chris Silva and his coach are on the same page, there may be no stopping the South Carolina forward.

Silva and A.J. Lawson scored 19 points apiece as South Carolina ended a two-game losing streak with an 86-80 win over Georgia on Saturday.

Over the last three games, Silva has scored 32 against Auburn, 15 against Oklahoma State and 28 against No. 1 Tennessee. The two games before that he scored nine total.

Coach Frank Martin said he mishandled Silva earlier this year.

''I saw his growth offensively in the preseason,'' Martin said. ''But I put too much pressure on him because we weren't playing well. We had two new guards who did not know how to play. We had a conversation. I needed to understand him.''

Derek Ogbeide led Georgia (10-11, 1-7 Southeastern Conference) with 16 points. Tyree Crump added 14.

The Gamecocks (11-10, 6-2) never trailed, but had to fight off repeated comeback attempts by Georgia. The last one climaxed when a pair of free throws by Georgia's William Jackson made the score 83-80 with just 1:06 to play, but the Bulldogs could not get the rebound off a missed shot by Carolina's Hassan Gravett.

Georgia fouled Lawson, who hit two free throws. Georgia then missed three 3-point attempts on its next possession and ran out of time.

South Carolina scored the first seven points of the game and built a 14-4 lead when Lawson hit a 3-pointer from the corner at 14:02 of the first half. It was 22-8 by the time Silva scored on a breakaway dunk with 9:39 to play in the half.

The Gamecocks' man-to-man defense was stifling. All of Georgia's first eight points were second-chance points. The Bulldogs had failed to generate a point off its offense until 9:00 to play when Okbeide hit two free throws after being fouled on a drive.

But Georgia Coach Tom Crean said the Bulldogs lost because of their poor defense, not their inability to score.

''I had no doubt we would come back,'' he said. ''We were missing close-range shots. It was not about the offense. Today we did not guard the ball, and we did not guard the shooter. After a while the basket looked like Lake Michigan because it was so open.''

South Carolina finished the game shooting 57 percent from the field and 69 percent from the 3-point line, hitting 11 of 16.

The Gamecocks briefly pushed the first-half lead to 15 on another 3 by Lawson with 6:42 to play. It was still a 14-point lead with 3:27 to go in the half after a 3 by Tre Campbell.

But Georgia scored nine straight points, capped by an acrobatic tip-in by Jordan Harris with 1:47 to play for cut the margin to 40-35. It was 45-40 at halftime.

Jackson opened the second half for Georgia with a 3-pointer to cut the margin to two points, but the Bulldogs could get no closer. South Carolina's lead expanded and contracted until 6-9 sophomore forward Felipe Haase nailed three straight 3s in 95 seconds to make it 69-56 with 9:41 to play, prompting a Georgia timeout.

''Felipe is one player who has not practiced well,'' said Martin. ''I am probably not the right coach for someone who does not practice well. But give him credit. He stayed the course. And he can shoot the ball. I've seen him make four or five in a row a lot of times. It was about time he did it in a game.''

Georgia did not rally immediately. The Bulldogs were still down 10 with 4:09 to play, but cut it to five on another acrobatic tip by Harris with 3:07 to go. Gravett, a Georgia native, hit a step-back 3 with 2:41 to play, which proved to be the Gamecocks' last field goal.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia: Tom Crean's first Georgia team continues to struggle to find consistency on offense. While the Bulldogs hit 22 of 25 free throws, they shot just 40 percent from the field and turned the ball over 14 times.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks shot 68.8 percent from beyond the 3-point line, hitting 11 of 16. Haase equaled his career high with his 96-second spurt in the second half.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Nicolas Claxton blocked two shots to give him 59 this year, the eighth best single-season total in Georgia history, one better than his father, Charles Claxton, who blocked 58 in 1994. However, Charles Claxton is comfortably No. 1 on the list, too. He blocked 94 shots in 1995.

CROWD CONTROL

Frank Martin's Gamecocks have won four of their last five games in Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum, but he said it is already a difficult place to play. ''They are doing something to create an unbelievable fan passion,'' Martin said. ''They sold out earlier this year against a team that I probably could have played for.''

UP NEXT

Georgia: The Bulldogs will try to gain their first road victory of the conference schedule when they travel to Tuscaloosa next Wednesday to face Alabama.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks face a daunting challenge when they go on the road Tuesday to play at No. 7 Kentucky.

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Key Players
A. Lawson
N. Claxton
30.5 Min. Per Game 30.5
12.9 Pts. Per Game 12.9
2.2 Ast. Per Game 2.2
9.3 Reb. Per Game 9.3
37.1 Field Goal % 44.2
29.3 Three Point % 28.9
64.8 Free Throw % 65.3
  Traveling violation turnover on William Jackson II 1.0
  Defensive rebound by William Jackson II 5.0
  A.J. Lawson missed 2nd of 2 free throws 5.0
+ 1 A.J. Lawson made 1st of 2 free throws 5.0
  Personal foul on William Jackson II 5.0
  Defensive rebound by A.J. Lawson 5.0
  Nicolas Claxton missed 3-pt. jump shot 7.0
  Offensive rebound by Nicolas Claxton 14.0
  William Jackson II missed 3-pt. jump shot 16.0
  Offensive rebound by Rayshaun Hammonds 17.0
  Nicolas Claxton missed 3-pt. jump shot 19.0
Team Stats
Points 86 80
Field Goals 33-58 (56.9%) 26-64 (40.6%)
3-Pointers 11-16 (68.8%) 6-20 (30.0%)
Free Throws 9-16 (56.3%) 22-25 (88.0%)
Total Rebounds 30 39
Offensive 10 17
Defensive 18 18
Team 2 4
Assists 16 9
Steals 3 9
Blocks 2 3
Turnovers 13 13
Fouls 21 14
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 6 REB
16 PTS, 7 REB
12T
away team logo South Carolina 11-10 454186
home team logo Georgia 10-11 404080
Team Stats
away team logo South Carolina 11-10 72.7 PPG 40.2 RPG 12.9 APG
home team logo Georgia 10-11 71.1 PPG 41.4 RPG 13.2 APG
Key Players
00
A. Lawson G 13.4 PPG 4.3 RPG 2.9 APG 41.1 FG%
34
D. Ogbeide F 9.7 PPG 5.7 RPG 0.8 APG 53.0 FG%
Top Scorers
A. Lawson G 19 PTS 7 REB 2 AST
D. Ogbeide F 16 PTS 7 REB 0 AST
56.9 FG% 40.6
68.8 3PT FG% 30.0
56.3 FT% 88.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Silva 19 6 0 7/10 0/0 5/8 4 26 0 1 2 3 3
A. Lawson 19 7 2 7/13 2/2 3/4 3 34 0 0 1 1 6
K. Bryant 11 6 2 5/7 0/0 1/2 2 30 0 1 4 1 5
T. Campbell 9 0 7 3/7 3/5 0/0 2 25 0 0 2 0 0
M. Kotsar 6 5 3 3/8 0/0 0/2 3 26 2 0 1 2 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Silva 19 6 0 7/10 0/0 5/8 4 26 0 1 2 3 3
A. Lawson 19 7 2 7/13 2/2 3/4 3 34 0 0 1 1 6
K. Bryant 11 6 2 5/7 0/0 1/2 2 30 0 1 4 1 5
T. Campbell 9 0 7 3/7 3/5 0/0 2 25 0 0 2 0 0
M. Kotsar 6 5 3 3/8 0/0 0/2 3 26 2 0 1 2 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
H. Gravett 13 1 1 5/7 3/4 0/0 1 29 0 0 1 0 1
F. Haase 9 1 1 3/4 3/4 0/0 3 20 1 0 2 1 0
E. Hinson 0 2 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 2 0
A. Frink 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 3 7 0 0 0 0 0
J. Bolden - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Cudd - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Minaya - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Moss - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Nelson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Couisnard - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Q. Borup - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 86 28 16 33/58 11/16 9/16 21 200 3 2 13 10 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Crump 14 0 1 5/13 4/9 0/0 0 19 0 0 1 0 0
R. Hammonds 11 6 0 4/7 0/1 3/3 4 22 2 0 4 4 2
W. Jackson II 10 3 3 3/6 1/3 3/4 2 26 0 0 2 2 1
N. Claxton 9 9 1 3/12 0/3 3/4 3 36 2 2 1 3 6
E. Wilridge 0 2 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 15 0 1 0 1 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Crump 14 0 1 5/13 4/9 0/0 0 19 0 0 1 0 0
R. Hammonds 11 6 0 4/7 0/1 3/3 4 22 2 0 4 4 2
W. Jackson II 10 3 3 3/6 1/3 3/4 2 26 0 0 2 2 1
N. Claxton 9 9 1 3/12 0/3 3/4 3 36 2 2 1 3 6
E. Wilridge 0 2 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 15 0 1 0 1 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Ogbeide 16 7 0 5/11 0/0 6/6 0 25 0 0 1 1 6
J. Harris 11 6 2 3/6 1/1 4/4 2 24 4 0 2 5 1
T. Hightower 6 1 1 2/4 0/1 2/2 0 15 1 0 0 1 0
T. Fagan 2 0 1 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0
C. Harrison 1 1 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 0 5 0 0 0 0 1
A. Ngumezi 0 0 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 3 6 0 0 2 0 0
M. Edwards - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. O'Neill - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Sargiunas - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Toppin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 80 35 9 26/64 6/20 22/25 14 200 9 3 13 17 18