Cinderella Wears Spurs: Gamecocks in Final Four

Seventh-seeded South Carolina continued its Cinderella run through the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday, rallying in the second half for the fourth straight game to defeat fourth-seeded Florida 77-70 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

South Carolina reached the Final Four for the first time in school history. The Gamecocks will face top-seeded Gonzaga in the semifinals on Saturday in Glendale, AZ.

The victory broke the single-season program record for wins at 26-10, as senior Sindarius Thornwell carried the team with a game-high 26 points, seven rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes.

In a familiar theme for the Gamecocks during this magical tournament run, South Carolina trailed by seven at halftime before turning it on the second half. The Gamecocks also trailed against Marquette, Duke and Baylor in the first three rounds.

Florida closed the half strong and took its biggest lead of the game, 38-30, after a 6-0 run with 48 seconds left. An and-1 by sophomore PJ Dozier on the other end pulled Carolina within five, 38-33 with 43 seconds remaining. Two free throws by Kevarrius Hayes put the Gators ahead 40-33 at the half.

With 11:28 to go, the Gamecocks regained the lead, 49-48, on a Kotsar tipin. It was Carolina’s first lead since the 5:24 mark in half one. The Gamecocks stormed ahead holding Florida scoreless for 3:25 and to 3-of-14 shooting to start the second half. Florida retook the lead, 53-51, on an and-1 by Leon with 9:56 on the clock. The basket snapped an 0-for-10 draught for the Gators.

The Garden erupted as Thornwell put Carolina back in the lead 59-57 with a tough layup, forcing head coach Mike White to take a timeout with 5:27 left to play. The teams exchanged hoops and were tied 63-63 at the final media timeout with three minutes left to play. The Gamecocks’ second half defense was stellar, holding Florida to 8-for-27 (30 percent) and 0-for-12 from 3 to that point.

Thornwell found Kotsar for a transition jumper at the free throw line as Carolina used a 6-0 run to go up four, 67-63, with 1:55 remaining in the game. A KeVaughn Allen free throw pulled the Gators within two, 70-68, with 53 seconds left. Florida got within four twice in the final minute, but two huge steals by Thornwell and Dozier late helped seal the historic victory for the Gamecocks.

Dozier (17), Silva (13) and Kotsar (12) joined Thornwell in double figures. Silva was just shy of a double-double, finishing with nine rebounds including four on the offensive end.

Photo courtesy of NCAA

Comments

comments

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MB

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MBIn the long, rich rivalry of the Battle of the [more]

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory Bell

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory BellMyrtle Beach stunned No. 5 Conway 13-12 on Thursday night [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Seahawks net region wins

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Seahawks net region winsThe Carolina Forest volleyball team completed a clean sweep of [more]

Socastee stays perfect in region play at midpoint

Socastee stays perfect in region play at midpointThe Socastee High girls tennis team captured its 10th win [more]

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Sharks, Braves try to reply

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Sharks, Braves try to replyThe Battle of the Victory Bell rings into action one [more]

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off BravesHow good is the St. James girls golf program? Good [more]

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT win

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT winSenior Wes White took a loose ball and found the [more]

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of Tigers

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of TigersThe Myrtle Beach High girls tennis and volleyball teams dominated [more]

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meet

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meetFive Grand Strand area cross country teams hit the ground [more]

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivals

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivalsThe Socastee High girls tennis team delivered an impressive 1-2 [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foes

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foesIn a showdown for first place in Region 6-5A standings, [more]

Golf: Braves top Warriors; Tigers, Chiefs battle Aynor

Golf: Braves top Warriors; Tigers, Chiefs battle AynorThe Conway and North Myrtle Beach girls golf teams narrowly [more]

MB's Edwards, SJ's White finalize college decisions

MB's Edwards, SJ's White finalize college decisions  A pair of recent Grand Strand Sports Report Athlete of [more]

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season opener

Chanticleers, Gamecocks meet in '18 season openerThe Coastal Carolina University football team will open the 2018 [more]

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majors

Villanueva becomes latest ex-Pelican to make majorsFormer Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Christian Villanueva made his major [more]

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West Brunswick

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West BrunswickThe North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team made sure that [more]

CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU Shootout

CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU ShootoutThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a 3-under par [more]

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot Invitational

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot InvitationalThe St. James High girls golf team went toe-to-toe with [more]

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debut

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debutA sellout crowd enjoyed the Carolina Panthers' 2017 home opener [more]

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt win

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt winCoastal Carolina women's soccer team got back in the win [more]

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee Invitational

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee InvitationalThe Carolina Forest swimming teams continued their successful seasons by [more]

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UAB

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UABCoastal Carolina scored 18 second-half points and only allowed 116 [more]

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSU

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSUCoastal Carolina began defense of its 2016 Sun Belt Championship [more]

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of Socastee

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of SocasteeIn a highly anticipated showdown between undefeated North Myrtle Beach [more]

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on Panthers

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on PanthersWill the real Myrtle Beach High defense please stand up? [more]

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MB

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MBIn the long, rich rivalry of the Battle of the [more]

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory Bell

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory BellMyrtle Beach stunned No. 5 Conway 13-12 on Thursday night [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach