COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)Chico Carter Jr. had 16 points, including a turn-around basket with 0.9 seconds left to lift South Carolina to a 60-58 win over rival Clemson on Friday night.
The Tigers (1-1) were down nine points at the half and trailed 58-51 with less than three minutes to play. But they tied the game on Brevin Galloway’s two foul shots with 7.8 to play. That’s when Carter dribbled the ball down the left side into a defender, then turned to loft a soft shot that sent the crowd into hysterics.
Clemson didn’t get off a final shot in time.
Carter, among the few holdovers from last year’s team for new coach Lamont Paris, had four of the Gamecocks (2-0) 10 3-pointers. Carter’s last one followed a three from Hayden Brown to put South Carolina ahead 55-49 with 5:04 remaining.
The Tigers fell to the Gamecocks for the first time in three meetings – and on Paris’ 48th birthday.
Paris became South Carolina’s first first-year head coach to win the rivalry game since Dave Odom did it in 2001.
Freshman Gregory ”GG” Jackson had 12 points and eight rebounds while Josh Gray led the team with 10 rebounds and three of its four blocks.
Clemson, picked 11th in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, was down 35-26 at the half and trailed throughout the second half. The Tigers got within two points twice, the last at 58-56 on PJ Hall’s basket with 1:19 to play.
Hall led Clemson with 15 points in his first game since two surgeries in the offseason. He also had five boards, a block and a steal.
Clemson: Getting a healthy Hall into the lineup will certainly help the Tigers. Shooting less than 40%, as they did against South Carolina, won’t. Clemson needs to find consistent scoring options besides Hall going forward.
South Carolina: It was a satisfying win for South Carolina in the state’s more significant sports rivalry. The Gamecocks, picked dead last in the SEC this season, hope a victory like this will give momentum going forward.
Clemson starts a three-game homestand against USC Upstate on Tuesday night.
South Carolina opens the Charleston Classic against Colorado State on Thursday night.
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