COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Keyshawn Bryant scored 15 points and Chris Silva added 14 points as South Carolina continued its surprising Southeastern Conference start with an 85-75 win over Missouri on Sunday.
The Gamecocks (8-7, 3-0 SEC) led the entire second half, but struggled to shake the Tigers (9-5, 0-2).
Javon Pickett’s 3-pointer with 3:17 left to go again got Missouri within a possession of tying the game. But Felipe Hasse and A.J. Lawson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put South Carolina ahead 79-70 with 2:03 to go.
The Gamecocks are one of four teams remaining undefeated in the SEC after a league worst 5-7 non-conference record. This is only the third time they have started 3-0 in the SEC since joining the league in 1992.
Hasse added 14 points and six rebounds for the Gamecocks.
Pickett led all scorers with 21 points. Mark Smith and Jordan Geist each added 14 for the Tigers.
Jeremiah Tilmon, Missouri’s leading rebounder, fouled out for a third straight game. His 13 minutes played Saturday was his longest outing of the three. The sophomore was disqualified in 12 minutes against Morehead State and nine minutes versus Tennessee.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but Columbia, Missouri received about a foot of snow Friday into Saturday, and the Tigers couldn’t make it out of town until Saturday.
Missouri: The Tigers turned the ball over 20 times, their second-worst performance this season. South Carolina had 16 turnovers, but the Gamecocks outscored Missouri 33-17 off the miscues.
South Carolina: The key to the Gamecocks surprise SEC start comes on offense. Teams typically score less once league play starts, but South Carolina is averaging 81 points in tis three SEC games, eight more points than non-conference play.
Missouri: The Tigers host Alabama on Wednesday.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks are on the road against Vanderbilt, who has opened 0-3 in the SEC.