COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Chris Silva had 22 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to help South Carolina snap a three-game skid with a 71-54 win over Texas A&M on Tuesday night.
South Carolina (15-15, 10-7 Southeastern Conference) led for the majority of the night and used a big run in the first part of the second half to pull away for good.
The Gamecocks led by 5 at halftime and had pushed the lead to 52-40 after scoring five straight points, capped by a 3 from Silva, with about 15 minutes left.
Wendell Mitchell made four quick points for the Aggies after that. But South Carolina countered with a 10-1 spurt that extended it to 62-45 with about eight minutes remaining and cruised to the victory. Keyshawn Bryant and Hassani Gravett scored three points each in that stretch and Silva capped it with a dunk.
The Gamecocks made 8 of 10 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 13 3s. It was their second big long-range shooting game against the Aggies this season after they tied a school record by sinking 16 in an 84-77 win on Feb. 16.
Freshman A.J. Lawson led the team with six 3s in that first meeting, but with Lawson out with an ankle injury, Gravett and Silva led the way on Tuesday, making four each.
Texas A&M (13-16, 6-11) got 15 points from Mitchell and 14 from Savion Flagg as it lost for the second time in three games.
The Gamecocks had shot just 36.3 percent from the field during their losing streak, but rediscovered their offense against A&M, making 45 percent of their field goals, including shooting 57 percent on 3s.
Gravett added 17 points with eight assists for South Carolina and Bryant finished with 15 points.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks got back on track offensively after three tough games, but will need to keep it up if they hope to make any noise in the SEC tournament next week.
Texas A&M: The Aggies managed to play well enough to hand Vanderbilt its 17th straight loss on Saturday, but they'll have to play much better if they hope to wrap up this tough regular season on a high note or do anything in the conference tournament.
South Carolina: Hosts Georgia on Saturday to end the regular season.
Texas A&M: Wraps up the regular season at Mississippi State on Saturday.
Texas A&M Basketball Postgame Notes
South Carolina 71, Texas A&M 54
Reed Arena (College Station, Texas)
ABOUT THE GAME
The Aggies moved to 13-16 on the year, 6-11 in SEC play after falling to South Carolina at Reed Arena Tuesday night.
South Carolina pulled away early on, leading by as many as 10 in the first half.
Back-to-back threes from Savion Flagg made it a four-point game with under two minutes remaining until the break, forcing South Carolina to call a timeout.
The Gamecocks responded out of the timeout and eventually took a 39-34 lead into halftime.
The Aggies were unable to take the lead in the second half, getting as close as six in the period, as the Gamecocks had an answer for everything they did.
A&M took the rebounding edge in the game, also outscoring South Carolina 20-16 in the paint.
The Aggies used the starting lineup of Chris Collins, Wendell Mitchell, Brandon Mahan, Savion Flagg and Christian Mekowulu for the sixth time this season (5-3).
Junior Wendell Mitchell led the Aggies in scoring with 15 points in the game. This is the 10th time this season he has paced the team.
Sophomore Savion Flagg recorded his fifth double-double of the season finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. This is the first time this season he has had a double-double in consecutive games.
Sophomore Jay Jay Chandler rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Aggies, finishing with 11 points, his ninth game of the year in double digits.
Billy Kennedy is now 150-114 in his eight-year tenure at Texas A&M and 361-293 in his 21 seasons as a head coach.
The Aggies will wrap up the regular season on Saturday, March 9, traveling to Mississippi State for a 1 p.m. game.
Head Coach Billy Kennedy
“We ran into a good South Carolina team, obviously the 3-point line was a problem for us. When their post guys made seven threes and I think they average between two and three a game? They were hard for us guard, we had a hard time guarding them. Offensively, we got production from basically three to four guys and did not get anything from other guys offensively. It is hard to beat a team when they play as well as they did and shoot the ball as well as they did.”
On South Carolina’s big men shooting three pointers …
“If you would have told me that their post guys were going to make seven threes, it is not something they have done all year. I do not think so and I know they are averaging two to three a game. Some of them were tough shots and some of them our post guys are not used to going out on the floor. Obviously, Chris Silva was a beast, which he has been for four years in this league.”