Observations from the South Carolina basketball win over Coastal Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – News, notes and observations from the South Carolina basketball team’s 80-78 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday at Colonial Life Arena.

It wasn’t pretty, to say the least, but the Gamecocks survived one helluva scare from the Chanticleers, who entered with a 5-4 record this season.

Hassani Gravett went from goat to hero, after nearly throwing the ball away on South Carolina’s next-to-last possession. Justin Minaya barely caught the pass in the corner in front of the team’s bench, but stepped out of bounds, because of the off target pass.

Trailing 78-77 with six seconds to play, Gravett atoned with a driving layup, which drew an and-1. He knocked down the free throw, to help seal the Gamecocks eighth win of the season.

They’re off for the next 10 days, before traveling to the Upstate to play Clemson. A few other observations from the narrow win in Columbia:

  • Minaya continues to assert himself as one of the team’s best players, scoring 13 points on 4 of 9 shooting from the field (3 of 7 from 3). His scoring fell off in the second half. His first 9 points, all of which came from behind the 3-point line, were scored on three of the team’s first four possessions.
  • Defensively, South Carolina struggled at times to keep Coastal Carolina’s players in front of them. It certainly didn’t help that the Chanticleers hit 42 percent of their shots from 3, after entering with an average of 35 percent.
  • This probably shouldn’t come as any surprise, but Evan Hinson looks a lean tight end on the football field. But on the basketball court, he’s thick and kind of rugged for the small forward spot. He spelled Minaya a couple of different times in the first half, the second of which started with a quick pull from behind the 3-point line.
  • It was a good looking shot coming out of his hands, I thought it was going to fall. His action the second time through also included a nice two-handed dunk.
  • Frank Booker is still the guy I want shooting a 3, if this team needs points. Like Minaya, he hit 3 of 7 this afternoon.
  • Coastal Carolina showed up to Columbia with the 10th-best rebounding margin in the country (+11.3). South Carolina fell in that department, 33-31.
  • Former Gamecock Jaylen Shaw, who was in Columbia for his freshman season, come out like a man on a mission. He entered the afternoon averaging 16 points per game. He finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds after dropping 11 points in the first half.

The post Observations from the South Carolina basketball win over Coastal Carolina appeared first on SEC Country.

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