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

Pelicans' comeback effort falls short against P-Nats

Pelicans' comeback effort falls short against P-NatsA late Myrtle Beach rally Monday came up just short [more]

Newton tests throwing arm for first time since surgery

Newton tests throwing arm for first time since surgeryThey say you can't keep a good man down, especially [more]

MB's Grigg, SJ's Knaffle go low to earn PGA Junior bid

MB's Grigg, SJ's Knaffle go low to earn PGA Junior bidGrand Strand golfers made strong showings at the Carolina PGA [more]

Pelicans come out on bad end of tight pitchers' duel

Pelicans come out on bad end of tight pitchers' duelMyrtle Beach was unable to get the offense going in [more]

MB's Hardin helps propel South to all-star game win

MB's Hardin helps propel South to all-star game winMyrtle Beach High graduate Hunter Hardin got to play one [more]

Cubs' World Series victory meant the world to 'Hawk'

Cubs' World Series victory meant the world to 'Hawk'Andre Dawson may be a Hall of Famer and a [more]

Mutiny downs Dynamos, vaults into first-place tie

Mutiny downs Dynamos, vaults into first-place tieThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny defeated the Carolina Dynamos 4-3 on [more]

Socastee's Cudd among six signees in Gamecocks' class

Socastee's Cudd among six signees in Gamecocks' classSouth Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin announced a signing [more]

Pelicans 'Hatch' second half with win over Woods Ducks

Pelicans 'Hatch' second half with win over Woods DucksThomas Hatch yielded just an unearned run over seven innings [more]

Mutiny heats up in second half to beat Hammerheads

Mutiny heats up in second half to beat HammerheadsThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny handled the rainy conditions and the [more]

The Hawk, Trophy kick off Pelicans' Cubs-A-Palooza

The Hawk, Trophy kick off Pelicans' Cubs-A-PaloozaThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans will welcome the Chicago Cubs' 2016 [more]

MB all-star Jimenez puts on lights-out show in HR derby

MB all-star Jimenez puts on lights-out show in HR derbyThe phrase "light-tower power" is thrown around often for power [more]

Tar Heels offer MB's Doty; Tigers' Moody picks ECU

Tar Heels offer MB's Doty; Tigers' Moody picks ECUMyrtle Beach High quarterback Luke Doty hasn't started his first [more]

CAC swimmers face tough competition at Titan meet

CAC swimmers face tough competition at Titan meetTriangle Aquatic Club hosted the TAC Titans TYR Triangle Classic [more]

First-half champ Pelicans ride hot streak into break

First-half champ Pelicans ride hot streak into breakBoth Jesse Hodges and Eloy Jimenez homered Sunday as the [more]

Mutiny nets first home win in rout of North Carolina FC

Mutiny nets first home win in rout of North Carolina FCThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny captured their first win at their [more]

Conway's Carter captures victory at Firefighters 5K

Conway's Carter captures victory at Firefighters 5KMore than 80 participants traveled from nine different states to [more]

Pelicans rally in 10th inning to knock out Wood Ducks

Pelicans rally in 10th inning to knock out Wood DucksA frantic Myrtle Beach rally in the 10th helped the [more]

Pelicans put pitcher Araujo on All-Star Classic roster

Pelicans put pitcher Araujo on All-Star Classic rosterRight-handed pitcher Pedro Araujo has been selected to represent the [more]

Mutiny duels Tormenta FC to tie, plays again Sunday

Mutiny duels Tormenta FC to tie, plays again SundayThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny are still looking for their first [more]

Wood Ducks turn tables on Pelicans in shutout victory

Wood Ducks turn tables on Pelicans in shutout victoryThe Down East Wood Ducks turned the tables on the [more]

Pelicans pitch club record third consecutive shutout

Pelicans pitch club record third consecutive shutoutJustin Steele fired five scoreless innings, and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Panthers put together new puzzle pieces in minicamp

Panthers put together new puzzle pieces in minicampThe Carolina Panthers didn't have a chance to see the [more]

Johnson finishes second in US Surfing Championships

Johnson finishes second in US Surfing ChampionshipsMyrtle Beach’s Brock Johnson finished in 2nd place today in [more]

CF's Johnson, CCU's Gore highlight local draftee list

CF's Johnson, CCU's Gore highlight local draftee listConway High product and Coastal Carolina infielder Jordan Gore and [more]

Pelicans' comeback effort falls short against P-Nats

Pelicans' comeback effort falls short against P-NatsA late Myrtle Beach rally Monday came up just short [more]

Newton tests throwing arm for first time since surgery

Newton tests throwing arm for first time since surgeryThey say you can't keep a good man down, especially [more]

Comments are closed.

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