Gamecocks Survive 57-56 Thriller Against Georgia Malik Cooke’s led all scorers with 13 points and hit the game-winner in the final 20 seconds
|men's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|South Carolina 57, Georgia 56
|Tennessee 77, Arkansas 58
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Senior Malik Cooke led all scorers with 13 points, but it was his go-ahead layup with 20 seconds remaining that sealed a 57-56 South Carolina victory over Georgia Wednesday night at the Colonial Life Arena.
The Bulldogs (12-13, 3-8 SEC) had one final desperation attempt in the final second of play, but the Gamecocks (10-15, 2-9 SEC) held on for their second conference victory of the season to end Georgia’s win streak.
Cooke’s 13 points were followed by Brenton Williams’s 10-point effort. Damontre Harris posted a stat line of nine points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Georgia was led by Gerald Robinson’s 11 points.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the game, shooting a combined 7-for-27 in the opening eight minutes with the Gamecocks holding a 9-8 lead into the second media timeout. Georgia then proceeded to try and separate themselves by hitting three of four shots in an 8-0 run to take the largest lead of the half for either team, 16-9, but South Carolina quickly responded by making the next three shots of the game to even the score at 16-16 with 6:23 remaining in the half.
Trailing 19-18, Brenton Williams put the Gamecocks on his back with eight consecutive points in a one minute span to give South Carolina its biggest lead of the half, 26-21, with two minutes remaining before the break. After trading jumpers with Georgia’s Ken Caldwell-Pope, Williams hit back-to-back 3’s sandwiched around a Georgia turnover to get the Gamecock crowd back into the game.
The teams headed into halftime with the Gamecocks holding a 28-26 lead with both teams hitting nine field goals in the half and South Carolina going a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe.
An even second half was threatened to open up when Georgia fought to take a 46-39 lead with 9:10 remaining, but South Carolina again immediately shot its way back into the contest with a jumper by Malik Cooke preceding a Bruce Ellington three-pointer to make it a one possession game.
The Gamecocks reclaimed the lead at 50-48 in the waning five minutes with a six consecutive points coming at the hands of Cooke and Ellington before the teams entered the final media timeout tied at 53-53 on the back of consecutive 3’s from South Carolina’s Damien Leonard and Georgia’s Caldwell-Pope.
Georgia’s Gerald Robinson hit a 3 to give the Bulldogs a 56-55 with 42 seconds remaining, but Cooke hit the go-ahead layup at the 20 second mark to put Carolina ahead 57-56. On the next possession, Damontre Harris rejected Robinson’s shot in the paint, and Ellington collected the rebound, forcing Georgia to foul for the 1-and-1. Ellington missed the free throw, and Caldwell-Pope gave the Bulldogs a look for the win, but South Carolina escaped for their second conference victory.
Tennessee cruises to 77-58 win against Arkansas
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jordan McRae came off the bench to score 14 points as Tennessee beat Arkansas 77-58 on Wednesday night.
Trae Golden scored 13 points, Jeronne Maymon and Skylar McBee each had 12 points, Cameron Tatum added 11 points and Jarnell Stokes had 10 as the Volunteers shot 56 percent (28 of 50) while holding the Razorbacks to 42.9 percent shooting (24 of 56).
Tennessee (14-12, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) hit nine of its first 10 shots and went on a 19-0 run early. The Vols, who have won 10 of their last 11 at home, led by as many as 24 points in the first half and held a 47-30 halftime lead.
Arkansas (17-9, 5-6) used a 7-0 run immediately before halftime and another shortly after the break to pull within 14 points. Brandon Mitchell hit a layup for the Razorbacks with 8:22 to play that cut Tennessee's lead to 60-50, but it was as close as the Hogs would get.
BJ Young scored 18 points, and Hunter Mickelson scored 12 for Arkansas, which hasn't won a road game this season.
With Arkansas leading 6-4, Tatum hit a jumper that launched Tennessee's 19-0 run. Tatum, who has struggled through a shooting slump lately and didn't even attempt a shot in the Vols' 75-70 win at Florida on Saturday, followed that basket with a 3-pointer.
McRae sank a 3 of his own to put the Vols up 21-6 with 13:55 until halftime, and Tennessee finished the half 7 of 10 from the perimeter against the SEC's second-toughest 3-point defense. Arkansas limits its opponents to 29.3 percent shooting from the arc.
The Razorbacks, who lead the SEC with a plus-4.1 turnover margin, turned the ball over four times and missed two shots during their 4:23 scoreless stretch. The Hogs finished with 18 turnovers, leading to 26 points for the Vols.
The Vols' own sloppiness with the ball allowed Arkansas to go on a few short runs and threaten Tennessee's lead. The Vols finished with 14 turnovers of their own.
Arkansas and Tennessee entered the game in a three-way tie with Mississippi for fifth place in the SEC. With the win, the Vols moved into a tie with Mississippi State for fourth while the Hogs dropped to a three-way tie for sixth.
Before the game, Tennessee announced that coach Cuonzo Martin had suspended Kenny Hall indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. Hall, who averages 6.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and a block, hadn't missed a game this season and started 16 of them, including the last two.