Gamecocks’ magical march zapped by Zags; Heels win

uschoops-zagsA season that few South Carolina Gamecocks fans will ever forget came to an end Saturday evening in the desert, as the men’s basketball team lost a thrilling 77-73 matchup with Gonzaga (37-1) in the NCAA National Semifinals.

The Gamecocks battled back from a double-digit deficit in the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium but could not hold off the No. 1 seeded Bulldogs, who will face North Carolina for the national championship on Monday. The tar Heels defeated Oregon 77-76.

With the loss, South Carolina ends the 2016-17 season with a program-record 26 wins and an overall record of 26-11. PJ Dozier led the team in scoring with 17 points. Chris Silva battled Gonzaga’s immense frontcourt and finished with 13 points, a career-high 13 rebounds and three blocks.

The Gamecocks were the pursuer for most of the first half, as the Bulldogs were efficient on offense, especially on the interior. A 3-pointer from Dozier gave South Carolina a 10-8 lead five minutes in, but Gonzaga responded with a 12-4 run over the next three minutes to take a two-possession lead with 12 minutes to go. South Carolina leaned on a balanced offense early to keep pace, with six different players scoring for the team in the opening 10 minutes.

South Carolina matched five-point scoring bursts from Gonzaga to hang close at 26-all and 31-all, thanks in large part to the efforts of Justin McKie and Silva. McKie provided vital scoring for the team off the bench, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in a span of two minutes, with the second tying the score at 31 with 5:13 to play. The senior had a team-high eight points in the period. Silva had a pair of highlight-reel blocks to go with seven points and four rebounds in the half.

A 7-0 run in the final two minutes of the half for the Bulldogs sent them into the break with their biggest lead of the game to that point, 45-36. Gonzaga was red-hot offensively, shooting over 57 percent from the field in the opening frame, led by 12 points for Nigel Williams-Goss. The Bulldogs were especially deadly from deep down the stretch, hitting all three 3-point attempts in the final six minutes to fuel the late run. South Carolina shot just 37 percent as a team, but had five different players contribute at least five points.

Williams-Goss would be the heart of the Gonzaga offense early and often in the second half, scoring 11 of the team’s first 20 points out of the break and driving the lead up to 65-51 with 11 minutes to go.

As it had been all tournament long, though, no lead was safe from the South Carolina Gamecocks. After an and-1 conversion from Williams-Goss for the largest lead of the game, 65-51, Carolina used the next four minutes to ignite the Garnet and Black faithful. Silva started the flurry with an and-1 of his own, and the Gamecocks hit six straight field goals to tie it up at 65 with 7:42 left to play.

The run topped out at 16-0 after a pair of Rakym Felder free throws made it 67-65 Gamecocks, giving the team its first lead since the 15:27 mark of the first half. Gonzaga snapped a four-minute scoring drought with back-to-back baskets to take back the lead, but it was a brand-new game with five minutes to play and the world watching.

The Bulldogs moved away from the perimeter late in the game, turning inside to 7-foot-1-inch senior Przemek Karnowski to grab back momentum. The big man converted on back-to-back possessions to push Gonzaga ahead at the final media timeout, 72-67 with 3:54 on the clock.

The two teams fought tooth and nail for every possession in the final four minutes, but both sides went cold offensively. A jump shot from Dozier and a split trip at the free throw line for Silva was Carolina’s only points over a two minute span. The Gamecock defense put them in position, however, to tie the game up with the ball and a three-point deficit with 15 seconds left and the score 75-72 in Gonzaga’s favor.

The Bulldogs opted to foul Sindarius Thornwell away from the basket, putting him on the line for two shots with 3.5 seconds left. After hitting the first, he hit the second off the back of the iron and Gonzaga snagged it and was fouled with 2.2 still on the clock with a 75-73 advantage. A pair of made free throws on the other end sealed the win for the Bulldogs.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

Panthers power up, push through for region crown

Panthers power up, push through for region crownLong before Carolina Forest’s volleyball team clinched another region championship, [more]

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMS

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMSJust when you thought it was safe to go back [more]

Coast FA holds free soccer ball giveaway

Coast FA holds free soccer ball giveawayYou've heard of taking a free kick in soccer, but [more]

Panthers take region title, four local teams advance

Panthers take region title, four local teams advanceThe Carolina Forest girls golf team captured the Region 6-5A [more]

NMB nips rival MB by one stroke to win region crown

NMB nips rival MB by one stroke to win region crownMonday's Region 6-4A girls golf tournament came down to a [more]

Record crowd sees Chants fall short to Georgia State

Record crowd sees Chants fall short to Georgia StateCoastal Carolina football held the Georgia State Panthers scoreless in [more]

Region 6-5A: Tigers top Braves; Panthers rip SF

Region 6-5A: Tigers top Braves; Panthers rip SFConway appeared to find its identity last week, pummeling West [more]

Region 6-4A: Chiefs suffer first defeat; MB dominates

Region 6-4A: Chiefs suffer first defeat; MB dominatesZayshaun Rice faked a pop pass to a receiver streaking [more]

Thursday Wrapup: MB golf, CF volleyball edge rivals

Thursday Wrapup: MB golf, CF volleyball edge rivalsThe Carolina Forest volleyball team's quest to complete an undefeated [more]

Seahawks QB Doty finalist for elite title of Mr. Football

Seahawks QB Doty finalist for elite title of Mr. Football Luke Doty is already considered one of the best quarterbacks [more]

Tuesday Roundup: NMB, CF sweep on Senior Night

Tuesday Roundup: NMB, CF sweep on Senior NightThe North Myrtle Beach volleyball team celebrated its Senior Night [more]

Edwards making his mark in Gamecock record book

Edwards making his mark in Gamecock record bookBefore Bryan Edwards was breaking records at South Carolina. Before [more]

BUFC, Coast teams prevail at Great Carolina Shootout

BUFC, Coast teams prevail at Great Carolina ShootoutThe Beach United Football Club crowned a pair of champions [more]

Region 6-5A: Tigers light up Knights; Panthers roll

Region 6-5A: Tigers light up Knights; Panthers rollConway returned to its roots Friday night and used a [more]

Region 6-4A: Seahawks, Chiefs dominate debuts

Region 6-4A: Seahawks, Chiefs dominate debutsMany high school quarterbacks would consider what Luke Doty has [more]

Chiefs using top tourneys to prep for 4A title defense

Chiefs using top tourneys to prep for 4A title defenseThe defending Class 4A state champion North Myrtle Beach volleyball [more]

Thursday Roundup: Region hot streak continues for CF

Thursday Roundup: Region hot streak continues for CFThe Carolina Forest volleyball team, unbeaten in Region 6-5A play, [more]

Carolina Forest swim team sweeps region meet titles

Carolina Forest swim team sweeps region meet titlesCarolina Forest High School's boys and girls swim teams bested [more]

Monday Roundup: Gray, NMB see close seconds

Monday Roundup: Gray, NMB see close secondsFor the second straight week the North Myrtle Beach volleyball [more]

Mountaineers manhandle Chants in Sun Belt opener

Mountaineers manhandle Chants in Sun Belt openerThe Coastal Carolina football team suffered a 56-37 loss at [more]

Week 5: Braves end skid; MB wins ugly Victory Bell

Week 5: Braves end skid; MB wins ugly Victory BellHow do you know when you have a pretty good [more]

Carolina Forest swimmers sweep in regional tuneup

Carolina Forest swimmers sweep in regional tuneupWith the SCHSL regional meets less than one week away, [more]

Thursday Roundup: CF, NMB volleyball stay hot

Thursday Roundup: CF, NMB volleyball stay hotThe Carolina Forest volleyball team capped a hectic week with [more]

Coastal soccer's Docking reaches 300-win milestone

Coastal soccer's Docking reaches 300-win milestoneIn 1997, the Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team was 4-2 [more]

Despite loss, Panthers run into top 10 of 5A rankings

Despite loss, Panthers run into top 10 of 5A rankingsCarolina Forest, welcome to the party. The Panthers’ football team, for [more]

Panthers power up, push through for region crown

Panthers power up, push through for region crownLong before Carolina Forest’s volleyball team clinched another region championship, [more]

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMS

Infamous red Jeep back in national spotlight at CMSJust when you thought it was safe to go back [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach