Silva gets hot late, South Carolina beats UMass 76-70
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Freshman Justin Minaya scored 17 points, Chris Silva had 12 of his 14 points in the second half and South Carolina defeated UMass 76-70 on Saturday.
Silva, coming off a two-point performance in a Thursday loss to Temple at Madison Square Garden, was in foul trouble for most of the game. He and Maik Kotsar entered the game with 5:40 remaining with four fouls apiece and Silva delivered back-to-back dunks in 34 seconds to put USC up by six.
The Minutemen cut the advantage to two with 19.4 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Carl Pierre, but Hassani Gravett made four straight free throws to seal it.
Gravett finished with 14 points for South Carolina (6-2), while freshman Felipe Haase chipped in 11.
“The job me and my staff are doing right now is pathetic,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. “We regressed this week. We’re a worse basketball team than we were eight days ago. That’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Luwane Pipkins led UMass (3-5) with 25 and Pierre added 12. The Minutemen have lost four straight.
“I though our guys were prepared. I thought our guys were excited. I thought they were ready to play . but, in order to win a game like this, it starts with your approach every single day,” UMass coach Matt McCall said.
UMass returns home following a four-game road stretch to host Holy Cross on Wednesday. It is the first of five straight home games.
The Gamecocks host Wyoming on Wednesday in their second of a three-game home stand.