Bulldogs fall to Gamecocks in OT


Lamar Peters (2) looks to score for Mississippi State during Tuesday night's game at South Carolina.

By: 
JEFFERY COLLINS
The Associated Press

Freshman A.J. Lawson stole the ball and finished with an emphatic dunk with 13 seconds left in overtime to seal South Carolina's 87-82 upset of No. 14 Mississippi State on Tuesday night.

Maik Kotsar scored a career-high 25 points and had nine rebounds for the Gamecocks (7-7, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), who were the only SEC team with a losing record in nonconference play but now sit atop the league.

Lawson, who came in as the team's leading scorer, averaging 13 points a game, scored just six points on 3-of-11 shooting. But he may have turned around what appeared to be a lost season for South Carolina with his steal and dunk as the Bulldogs (12-2, 0-1) tried to get a potential game-tying 3.

Kotsar came up big in overtime too, with a mid-range jumper with 42.1 seconds to go that put South Carolina ahead 85-82.

Hassani Gravett added 17 points and Chris Silva had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Gamecocks.

Aric Holman had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Mississippi State. Nick Weatherspoon scored 17 points, and Lamar Peters had 16 points and seven assists.

Mississippi State trailed 61-54 with just under 12 minutes to go, but climbed back in it with some timely 3s. Both teams had good looks to take the lead late in regulation.

Silva had a rebound just under the basket slip out of his hands with 30 seconds to go in regulation. Peters missed a tough running layup with 5 seconds left, and Gravett's half-court heave at the buzzer rolled around the rim before falling away.

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