Men’s hoops: Gamecocks overcome Bears in overtime

The Associated PressNovember 25, 2012 

— South Carolina posted a 74-67 victory against Missouri State in the third round of the Hoops For Hope Classic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Saturday.

In his first contest back after missing three games because of a concussion, freshman forward Michael Carrera hit a 3-pointer as time expired in regulation to send the contest into overtime.

Senior guard LaShay Page led the Gamecocks with 22 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Brian Richardson added 14 points, hitting four 3s, one shy of matching his career high. Carrera added 18 points in his return and pulled down five rebounds.

South Carolina committed a season-high 25 turnovers, however, includiing 20 in the first half. The Gamecocks outrebounded the Bears, 33-29.

Marcus Marshall led the Bears with 17 points, while Anthony Downing and Christian Kirk both added 16. Keith Pickens’ eight rebounds were a game-high.

Missouri State took a 2-0 lead after an administrative technical foul called on South Carolina during pregame warmups, and the Bears were ahead 7-0 lead before a 3-pointer from Richardson halted the stretch at the 17:41 mark.

The Gamecocks responded with a 10-4 run to take a 13-11 lead on another trey from Richardson.

Missouri State held a 19-18 advantage near the seven-minute mark, but the Gamecocks continued to battle and Richardson’s third 3-pointer tied the contest at 23 with 4:31 remaining before halftime.

South Carolina committed five turnovers through the last four minutes of play and Missouri State held a 33-28 lead at the half. The Gamecocks finished the half with 11 shots attempts, connecting on eight to shoot 72.7 percent.

Page scored two 3s and a layup in the early moments of the second half to tie the score at 38.

The game remained close throughout the second half.

Junior guard Eric Smith earned the assist on a layup from Page to tie the contest at 51 with a little more than six minutes remaining. Two free throws from MSU’s Marshall gave the Bears a 53-51 advantage, before Carrera tied the contest at 53 with a hard-fought layup with 2:42 on the clock.

Kirk gave MSU a 55-53 lead with 1:25 remaining, before the teams traded missed baskets and the Gamecocks were called for an intentional foul with 33 seconds left. The Bears hit 1-of-2 from the line to hold a 56-53 lead.

Richardson was called for a foul with 29 seconds remaining and MSU’s Williams missed the front end of a 1-and-1 before Page connected on the opposite end on a jumper to pull the Gamecocks within one at 56-55 with 13 seconds remaining.

Marshall connected on two free throws for the Bears with 12.2 seconds on the clock to go up three at 58-55. Smith collected the inbounds pass from freshman forward Mindaugas Kacinas and raced down the floor, finding Carrera just beyond the 3-point line with seconds remaining.

Carrera faced the basket and shot his first attempt from beyond the arc this season, hitting at the buzzer to force overtime.

The Gamecocks dominated the OT session, outscoring the Bears 16-9, including four points from Carrera and seven made free throws from Page.

South Carolina concludes play in the Hoops For Hope Classic today, playing either SMU or Arkansas Little-Rock at 9:30 p.m.

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BOX SCORE: USC vs. Missouri State

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