From staff reports/File photo by Jenny Dilworth
South Carolina upset Florida Saturday night on a last-second dunk by Chris Silva.
Florida tied the game on a free throw with 3.5 seconds remaining but Felipe Haase threw a court-length pass to Silva, who dunked it to give the Gamecocks the lead with 2.5 seconds remaining. The Gamecocks held on for a 71-69 win in their first SEC game of the season.
The Gamecocks improved to 6-7 and 1-0 in the SEC, while Florida fell to 8-5.
Silva gave the Gamecocks their first lead of the game on a lay-up with less than a minute remaining. Silva, who was held scorelss in the first half, had 18 second-half points to spark the Gamecocks. Hassani Gravett led South Carolina with 22 points and was 4-of-7 from three-point range.
Freshman Keyshawn Bryant scored six straight points late in the game as South Carolina rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half.
South Carolina overcame 22 turnovers and held Florida to 38 percent shooting while hitting 45 percent from the field.
The Gamecocks out-rebounded Florida 38-35. Maik Kotsar led South Carolina with seven rebounds while Gravett had six.
The game looked like it would go to overtime after Florida's Kevarrius Hayes hit a free throw with 3.5 seconds remaining that made it 69-all.
It was one of the biggest collapses in coach Mike White's tenure at Florida. Keyshawn Bryant had a lot to do with it. Bryant made three consecutive buckets late in the second half, helping the Gamecocks dig out of a 10-point hole with about 8 minutes to play. Bryant had a steal and a dunk, a layup and a jumper to cap a 9-0 run that tied the game at 65.
South Carolina took its first lead since scoring the first point of the game on Silva's dunk with 3:39 remaining.
Noah Locke led Florida with 17 points. KeVaughn Allen and Andrew Nembhard added 10 apiece.
The Gators led by as many as 13 points in the first half thanks mostly to six 3-pointers. But they went cold down the stretch - much like they did late in the game - and allowed South Carolina to whittle the lead to 34-32 on Kotsar's putback with 23 seconds remaining. Allen answered on the other end with a driving layup, making it a four-point game at the break.
It was a sloppy start, with the teams combining to miss 36 shots and turning the ball over 26 times.
South Carolina's stout defense held the Gators without a field goal the final 7:17 of the game.
The Gamecocks shot 52 percent (13-for-25) in the second half, while holding Florida to 33 percent from the field (9-for-27).
Graduate transfer guard Tre Campbell played a career-high 37 minutes. He hit a pair of 3s and led the team with four assists.