They say things are bigger in Texas. Tuesday night in College Station, USC senior forward Chris Silva never played bigger than he did in the 71-54 win over the Aggies. Silva recorded a massive double-double of 22 points and 17 rebounds. The rebounds are a career high and that effort came one game after recovering 0 rebounds in the loss at Missouri.
USC led by five at halftime but two second half runs put the game in its hands and allowed the Gamecocks to break a three game skid. That five point lead ballooned to 52-40 within the first five minutes of the second half. Later, a 10-1 run put the Gamecocks up 62-45 with eight minutes to play, and they were home free from there in sweeping the season series with the Aggies.
Playing without injured sharpshooter AJ Lawson, the Gamecocks still managed to damage the Aggies with three-pointers for the second time this season. They hit 13 this time, three fewer than what they made last month in the game in Columbia.
Hassani Gravett supported Silva’s offensive lead with 17 points and Keyshawn Bryant added 15.
The Gamecocks, who are 15-15 overall, improved to 10-7 in the SEC making coach Frank Martin the first Gamecock coach with three SEC seasons of 10 or more wins. The win also keeps the Gamecocks in no worse than a tie for fourth place with one game to go. The top four teams get a double bye for next week’s tournament in Nashville.
The Gamecocks will go for their 11th league win Saturday afternoon as they close out the regular season at home against Georgia.
Frank Martin and Chris Silva postgame press conference