The South Carolina men's basketball team won its second game in a row on Tuesday, beating Ole Miss 77-74. Graduate student guard James Reese hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Gamecocks the win in overtime.
“We felt like our season was on the line. Everybody was just straight laser-focused, locked in, trying to execute the game plan,” Reese said.
In the first half, the Gamecocks struggled. They committed 11 turnovers and shot 1-6 from three, but only trailed by a score of 29-28 at the break.
A lot of the half was a game of runs. Ole Miss was able to pull out the last run of the frame at 6-2.
During the second half, they kept it close for the remainder of the game, but the final two minutes were where the action happened.
After struggling for most of the game, senior guard Erik Stevenson drained back-to-back threes to tie the game at 65, then take the lead at 68-66 with 25 seconds left. The latter shot was with a hand in his face with the shot clock expiring.
“That was big-time bro, that's just huge for us,” Stevenson said postgame.
Three-pointers were a struggle leading up until then as the Gamecocks were 3-13. Including those two, they finished the game 3-8.
Freshman guard Devin Carter would later head to the line to try and seal the game, but he missed the front end of the one-and-one. This led to a Jarkel Joyner shot as time expired to force the first overtime game of the season for the Gamecocks.
“Just felt really bad for Devin Carter, he missed that free throw, because he’s made every free throw that counts for us this year,” head coach Frank Martin said. “Then I thought Keyshawn guarded Joyner really good that last play. Give Joyner credit.”
In overtime, the teams traded baskets, but senior forward Keyshawn Bryant secured a defensive rebound with a second remaining to give the Gamecocks a chance to win it in regulation. The rest is history.
After starting the game 0-5 from three, Reese drained the one that ultimately mattered, the game-winner.
“Coach Martin drew up a play ... there was two guys getting to the spot before me and all I had to do was get back to the ball,” Reese said. “I just happened to be in that position, and then I shot it the way we were shooting it every day ... the emotion that I felt was just crazy.”
South Carolina will look to extend its win streak to three as they host LSU on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.