Hayden Brown scored 18 points and sophomore Jacobi Wright added a career-high 17 as South Carolina rallied late to snap an eight-game losing streak with a 64-61 victory over Ole Miss in a matchup of Southeastern Conference bottom feeders Saturday in Oxford, Miss.
Meechie Johnson scored six of his 13 points in the final 79 seconds as the Gamecocks (9-16, 2-10 SEC) closed the game on a 9-2 surge to overcame a 59-57 deficit.
Tye Fagan posted a season-high 17 points and Robert Allen was in double figures with 10 points along with seven rebounds to lead the Rebels (10-15, 2-10).
The Gamecock won despite getting only five points from leading scorer GG Jackson II. Jackson didn’t start for a second straight game after posting a complaint a week ago on social media for not getting the ball late in a two-point loss to Arkansas and played just 12 minutes, racking up four fouls.
The Rebels increased a three-point halftime lead to 42-37 to start the second half, but the Gameocks responded with a 7-0 run that gave them their first lead of the game 44-42 on Brown’s jumper.
The game was tied five times after that before Wright put the Gamecocks up 61-59 on a 3-pointer 44 seconds left. Matt Murrell, Fagan and Amaree Abram missed 3-pointers for Ole Miss in the final seconds and Johnson’s free throws sealed it for the Gamecocks.
The Rebels had a chance to build on a 57-55 lead approaching the two-minute mark when an intentional foul was whistled on South Carolina’s Chico Carter, but Myles Burns missed both free throws.
Ole Miss jumped in front 8-1 early and led for all but one brief moment in the first half. The Gamecocks caught up at 32-32 when Johnson’s reverse layup at the 1:58 mark capped a 6-0 South Carolina run.
But Fagan’s free throws just 44 seconds later broke the tie and the Rebels capitalized on back-to-back South Carolina turnovers for layups and a 38-32 lead before the Gamecocks closed their halftime deficit to three on Wright’s 3-pointer in the period’s closing seconds.
–Field Level Media