USC struggled shooting the ball all game long, but Frank Booker hit a pair of long three pointers in the final 3:14 to help the Gamecocks pull out a 64-57 win at Georgia Saturday afternoon. The Gamecocks improved to 2-3 in the SEC and 11-6 overall and are the first visitors to win this season at Stegeman Coliseum.
USC never trailed despite shooting a season low 27% for the game and making only six second half field goals. But two were the Booker three-pointers, and they both came at crucial times.
Georgia had just tied the game at 49 when Booker delivered his first bomb with 3:14 to play to give the Gamecocks a 52-49 lead. That sparked a 13-4 run that included Booker’s second three with 1:22 left. The other seven points came at the free throw line as the Gamecocks built the lead to 62-53 with :29 to play.
The Gamecocks were able to win despite the lousy shooting because of a strong, overall floor game and the free throw shooting down the stretch. They won the rebounding battle by four including 18 offensive rebounds, they forced twice as many turnovers (14) than they committed (season low 7) and they hit 26-35 from the line while Georgia was 18-28.
Booker led the Gamecocks with 17 points. Chris Silva, who avoided foul trouble to play 35 minutes, had 14 points 9 rebounds and a career high four assists. Georgia’s Yante Maten led all scorers with 25 points.
The Gamecocks return home Tuesday for a 9:00 PM clash with Kentucky.
Frank Martin on Booker’s 2nd three-pointer off a tough pass
Frank Booker & Chris Silva post game interviews