South Carolina rallies past FSU to secure a huge non-conference victory

Florida State had a look to sink Carolina in the final second of the game.
Florida State had a look to sink Carolina in the final second of the game.(South Carolina Athletics)
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 2:50 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Sunday, South Carolina overcame a significant first-half deficit to take down Florida State in Rock Hill, SC, at the No Room for Racism classic. The Gamecocks survived the Seminoles, 66-65.

Florida State had a look to sink Carolina in the final second of the game. Malik Osborne shot an uncontested three-pointer near the top of the key, which found the back of the iron as the buzzer sounded.

Osborne nearly played hero for the Seminoles down the stretch. He stuffed a Keyshawn Bryant drive toward the rim with 12 seconds to play. It gave FSU the last word in a one-point ball game.

But it’s South Carolina celebrating the dramatic finish up the road from Columbia. It delivered a huge win to add to the Gamecock season resume.

The way the game started, it appeared FSU would run South Carolina out of the gym. The Seminoles grabbed a 16-point lead, 27-11, with 10:57 to play in the first half.

Carolina never backed down from the fight. And the game began to change with under seven minutes to go in the first. Bryant knocked down a jumper at the 6:43 mark. Forty seconds later, Josh Gray went into the paint for two more. The back-to-back buckets sparked a 14-5 run to close out the half, pulling Carolina within six points at the break.

In the second half, two Carolina guards emerged, engineering the comeback, freshman Devin Carter and senior transfer James Reese V. The two combined for 24 points in the second half. Carter scored a game-high to finish with 16 points, while Reese added 13.

Reese rose the occasion to put Carolina ahead by sparking the largest run of the game. Trailing 50-44, Reese dropped two threes, added two more buckets by the rim to lift Carolina to a 54-50 lead. Reese’s own 10-0 run took only a 1:06 off the clock and forced FSU to call a timeout with 9:16 left to play.

Wildens Leveque added a bucket shortly after the Seminoles timeout to extend the Gamecock run and the lead.

Despite underperforming in a couple of key stat areas, South Carolina held on for the win. The Gamecocks were a mere 10-20 from the charity stripe and turned it over 17 times, but so did FSU.

Where Carolina excelled was inside and on the glass. The Gamecocks outscored Florida State in the paint, 38-20, while outrebounding FSU by eight.

South Carolina improves to 7-2 on the season. Its next game is at home on Tuesday against Allen.

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