Gamecocks surge past Bulldogs on Senior Night

South Carolina (14-16, 4-13 SEC) used an 18-5 run through the first 10 minutes of the second half to secure a 79-72 victory over Mississippi State (8-21, 3-15) at Colonial Life Arena on Senior Night in Columbia.

Junior guard Brenton Williams scored a career high 38 points to lead the Gamecocks in the victory, which marked a new South Carolina record for points scored in an SEC regular season contest, and a new Colonial Life Arena record.

Williams’ 38 points marked the first 30-point performance for a Gamecock since then-freshman Bruce Ellington posted 31 at Furman on Dec. 22, 2010, and the most points in a game since Terry Dozier also netted 38 in an 86-85 win over Florida State on March 3, 1987, 26 years ago to the day, in the Metro Conference Tournament. Williams hit 10-of-17 attempts from the floor, including a 6-of-9 mark from 3-point range and a 12-of-12 effort from the free throw line.

South Carolina honored four senior members of its team prior to the contest versus Mississippi State in senior forward Lakeem Jackson, senior guard Shane Phillips and senior managers Josh King and Bubba Wright.

Williams led all scorers, while junior guard Bruce Ellington added nine points for the Gamecocks. Jackson pulled down a team high eight rebounds. Mississippi State’s Craig Sword paced the Bulldogs with 20 points, while Jalen Steele added 17. South Carolina collected 18 assists on 21 made baskets in the contest.

South Carolina’s seniors hit back-to-back buckets to open scoring for Carolina, with Jackson connecting for an early layup and make from the foul line, followed by a jumper from Phillips just inside the 3-point line moments later.

A three-point play from MSU’s Roquez Johnson tied the contest at 12 with just over 12 minutes to play, but the Gamecocks scored the next five points on a 3 from Williams and layup from Michael Carrera to regain the lead at 17-12.

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