USC had a chance to pull out what would have been a big win over Charlotte in round two of the Charleston Classic Friday night but the Gamecocks could not make plays at the end of the 65-63 loss.
The Gamecocks, trailing by two, turned the ball over with 14 seconds to play when Mindaugas Kacinas failed to in-bounds the ball within five seconds. Forced to foul, the Gamecocks sent Mike Thorne Jr. to the line and he missed both attempts.
After the 49ers committed the two fouls they had to give, USC ran a play with eight seconds left. Sindarius Thornwell, who had 18 points for the night but made just one second half shot, attempted a three from the right side of the key but missed as the horn sounded.
The Gamecocks played some of their best basketball of the season in building a 14 point first half lead but that began to erode over the final five minutes and the lead was only seven at the break. The 49ers came out in the second half intent on overpowering the Gamecocks inside, and they succeeded tying the game within three minutes.
They eventually went up by 7 until the Gamecocks fought back to take a two point lead with 6:39 left, and it was nip and tuck from there.
Kacinas and Michael Carrera each had 11 points for USC. Braxton Ogbueze led the 49ers with 14 points.
The Gamecocks fall to 2-2 and will face Akron Sunday night at 6:30 for third place. Charlotte, which is 3-0, will play Miami Sunday night for the championship.