Collin Murray-Boyles scored 16 points and South Carolina kept rolling by defeating host Georgia 72-62 with a stellar second half Saturday afternoon in Southeastern Conference play at Athens, Ga.
Fresh off an upset of No. 5 Tennessee earlier in the week and already on the verge of cracking the Top 25, the Gamecocks (19-3, 7-2 SEC) should move into the national rankings in the next poll when it comes out Monday. South Carolina has won five games in a row.
In topping Georgia to avenge their most-recent setback, the Gamecocks relied heavily on second-half defense. The Bulldogs managed to score only 22 points after a high-scoring first half.
South Carolina’s Josh Gray racked up 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds off the bench, Meechie Johnson had 11 points and Ta’Lon Cooper finished with 10 points and eight assists.
Jabri Abdur-Rahim ended up with 20 points, reserve Blue Cain had 11 points for only his second double-figure outing in SEC play and Noah Thomasson had 10 points for Georgia (14-8, 4-5), which has lost three games in a row.
Murray-Boyles, who was one point shy of his season-high mark, and Gray both shot 7-for-9 from the field as part of South Carolina’s 51.8-percent overall mark from the floor. He scored four straight points as the Gamecocks built their lead to 67-57 with about three minutes to play.
Johnson and Cooper both drained three 3-point shots.
Georgia shot 39.3 percent from the field. Nine of the Bulldogs’ 22 field goals were 3-pointers and they were perfect at 9-for-9 on free throws. Abdur-Rahim had four of the treys.
From the first half to the second half, there was a huge contrast in offensive efficiency, with the teams combining for 78 first-half points. But through the first 13 minutes of the second half, they collected just a total of 32 points.
Georgia, which is 1-4 since defeating the Gamecocks on Jan. 16, led 40-38 at halftime. The Bulldogs led 27-18, but Murray-Boyles helped feed a comeback late in the opening half.
–Field Level Media
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