Story by Matt Smith
South Carolina’s fading NCAA Tournament hopes took another significant blow Saturday, as the Gamecocks fell 78-63 at Missouri. South Carolina (14-15, 9-7 SEC) finds itself on a 3-game skid and with an overall losing record for the first time since January 8th.
However, the Gamecocks can still hold on to a share of fourth place if Florida loses tonight against Georgia. The Gators along with Ole Miss and Mississippi State entered today’s games tied with the Gamecocks for fourth at 9-6, and both the Rebels and Bulldogs lost leaving them at 9-7 in the league with USC.
Chris Silva’s foul trouble, a recurring theme this season, confronted the Gamecocks, again. Silva picked up his fourth foul with 9:04 remaining and his team down 11. Without its leading scorer, South Carolina was in need of a run that never materialized. The Gamecocks were already shorthanded, losing freshman AJ Lawson to an ankle injury earlier in the week against Alabama.
Keyshawn Bryant’s dunk cut the lead to four with less than five minutes remaining, but a Missouri flurry quickly pushed the advantage back to 10 at the 3:51 mark. The Gamecocks never closed within double digits, again.
Hassani Gravett led the Gamecocks with 20 points on 8 of 17 shooting. Bryant registered 15 points and a pair of awe-inspiring dunks. Silva added 12 points, but surprisingly, did not grab a rebound.
South Carolina will try to snap its losing streak Tuesday night 7 pm, at Texas A&M.