COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Freshman guard Torrence Watson scored 20 points and Missouri beat South Carolina 78-63 on Saturday.
South Carolina cut Missouri’s lead from 10 to four with 5:54 remaining. On the next possession, Watson drilled a 3-pointer. After another Gamecocks’ basket, Watson knocked down a triple to extend Missouri’s lead to eight with 4:34 left.
Missouri (13-15, 4-12 Southeastern Conference) held off South Carolina’s push from that point on. It was Watson’s second consecutive game as the team’s leading scorer. He finished 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Hassani Gravett led South Carolina (14-15, 9-7) with 20 points. But the team’s leading scorer for the season, forward Chris Silva, was in foul trouble all game and fouled out with 1:44 remaining. He played just 15 minutes and scored 12 points.
The Tigers took advantage of Silva’s limited time. Forward Kevin Puryear scored 18 points, including 8-for-9 from the free-throw line. Puryear is averaging 6.9 points per game and has not scored in double-digits in conference play this season.
The Gamecocks also played without their second leading scorer, freshman A.J. Lawson, who suffered a low left ankle sprain in the second half of South Carolina’s game against Alabama on Tuesday.
> Missouri’s bench outscored a thin South Carolina squad, 28-9.
> The Tigers also outrebounded the Gamecocks 39-27 with a 17-9 advantage in second chance points.
> Redshirt senior guard Hassani Gravett had 20 points in just his second start of the 2018-19 season. His eight made FGs matched a single-game career high (had eight at Mississippi State – 2/24/18).
> Gravett, who is having the best season of his career, has now scored in double-figures in 11 of the team’s 16 SEC games this season.
> Freshman wing Keyshawn Bryant had 15 points and seven rebounds in a career-high 39 minutes.
The Gamecocks have a quick turnaround, heading to Texas A&M for a Tuesday night matchup against the Aggies in College Station. Tip time for the contest is set for 7 p.m. ET, with Tom Hart and Jon Sundvold on the call for the SEC Network.