The Mississippi State Bulldogs held the South Carolina Gamecocks to seven points over the final 4:49 of play to earn a road victory, 81-76, at Colonial Life Arena Wednesday.
The Gamecocks’ struggled to get offense from more than two players, losing despite a career-high 25 points from Frank Booker and 18 from Chris Silva. The rest of the team managed 33 points, playing without Justin Minaya who suffered a right-ankle sprain during practice on Monday.
Free-throw shooting also foiled the Gamecocks late, having made 18 of their first 20, USC missed 3-out-of-4 in a key stretch with less than two minutes to play.
Booker did most of his damage from beyond three, making 5-of-8 shots, but the rest of the team scuffled, shooting 2-for-16 beyond the arc.
Booker and Silva both believed the team needs to change to prevent the late breakdowns they’ve suffered lately.
Frank Booker and Chris Silva
Mississippi State (16-6, 4-5 SEC) tied South Carolina in the SEC standings with the win, the Bulldogs first victory away from home in league play. Bulldogs Head Coach Ben Howland said the key came down to hitting shots, as MSU shot more than 50 percent for the ninth time this season (51.7%).
Ben Howland and Bulldogs Players
South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin said Wednesday night’s result was another of his young team going through growing pains.
South Carolina (13-9, 4-5 SEC) hits the road for two straight games starting Saturday with a visit to Texas A&M at 2 PM Saturday in College Station.