COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Chris Silva scored 18 points as South Carolina won its fifth Southeastern Conference game after trailing by double digits beating Mississippi 79-64 on Tuesday night.
The Gamecocks (14-12, 9-4 SEC) didn’t trail big for long. After the Rebels took a 13-2 lead in the first four minutes, South Carolina scored 16 straight points and wouldn’t trail again.
After the Gamecocks led by as many as 11 toward the end of the first half, Ole Miss (18-8, 8-5) did tie the game at 61 with 6:18 left. But South Carolina scored on its next six possessions to take a 75-63 lead with 2:47 left.
The Gamecocks made 9 of 19 3-pointers, continuing a torrid pace. They have made 49 of 88 (55.7 percent) from behind the arc the past four games.
The win put the Gamecocks into fourth place in the SEC all by themselves, which could be critical for a team that is trying to be a difficult bubble decision. The top four teams get a double bye in the SEC Tournament and only need to win three games to get the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid. South Carolina leads every other tem by at least two games and now will have the tiebreaker over Ole Miss.
Mississippi: The Rebels are ranked 30th in the new NET rankings the NCAA is using to select tournament teams. Tuesday’s loss won’t knock them on to the bubble, but with home games remaining against No. 4 Kentucky and No. 5 Tennessee, the margin for error is getting smaller.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks have been down by double digits in nine of their 13 SEC games, including all four of their losses. All of South Carolina’s defeats have come to the SEC’s top three teams. South Carolina’s terrible 5-8 nonconference schedule has them 94th in the NET rankings. Only Georgia and Vanderbilt, with just one SEC win between the two of them, are lower.
Mississippi: The Rebels host next-to-last-place Georgia on Saturday
South Carolina: The Gamecocks head to Mississippi State on Saturday in their last chance for an attention grabbing road win.