COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Chris Silva scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Felipe Haase added 17 with nine boards, and South Carolina used a big second-half run to beat Wyoming 80-64 on Wednesday night. Silva struggled early, before finding his way midway through the first half. He was the Gamecocks top performer the rest of the way as he managed to avoid what has been a problem during his career — staying out of foul trouble.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Chris Silva scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Felipe Haase added 17 with nine boards, and South Carolina used a big second-half run to beat Wyoming 80-64 on Wednesday night.
Silva struggled early, before finding his way midway through the first half. He was the Gamecocks top performer the rest of the way as he managed to avoid what has been a problem during his career — staying out of foul trouble.
"I was a bit lost at the beginning," said Silva. "We practiced that. The coaches reminded me they were packing it in, in the paint. When we came inside, I tried to get the defense to come to me and then I threw it outside."
Despite the Gamecocks win, coach Frank Martin was not pleased. He said his team has following Saturday's win over UMass and was upset with their play.
"Any time you win, you've got to feel good about something," said Martin. "We played good in the first half. In the second half we reverted back to the habits and the breakdowns that caused us to play so bad last week and I let it happen."
Frank Booker scored 16 points with three 3-pointers, six rebounds and three steals, and freshman Justin Minaya added 11 points for the Gamecocks (6-2), who outrebounded the Cowboys 43-34 and scored 24 points off of 18 Wyoming turnovers.
Haase's 3 put South Carolina up for good, 25-22, and the Gamecocks finished the first half on a 13-3 run to lead 35-25 at halftime.
Wyoming closed to 37-33 on Justin James' free throw early in the second half, but the Gamecocks countered with a 21-6 run to regain control and led by double digits the rest of the way. Minaya hit consecutive threes in the run and Booker scored seven points.
James scored 20 points with 12 rebounds and Hayden Dalton added 12 points and six rebounds for Wyoming (6-3). Louis Adams scored 12 and Alexander Aka Gorski had 10.
"Obviously there is a winner and a loser," said Wyoming coach Allen Edwards. "But this was an opportunity for us to grow. I thought we played some good basketball, but there was a segment in the second half where I thought their physicality kind of wore on us.
"The second run, they made two threes in a row when we were in our zone defense and kind of extended the lead."
South Carolina: The win was important for USC as Frank Martin felt his team had regressed in the last 10 days. The Gamecocks backcourt continued struggle, but with Booker and Minaya hitting outside shots, it played well enough to complement a solid performance by the frontcourt.
Although it out-rebounded the Cowboys 43-34, USC struggled from the free throw line, making 16 of 29 attempts.
"That's something we have to get better at because we are leaving points out there," said Booker. "That's going to bite us later in the season. If we get grip on it now, I think we'll be fine."
Wyoming: The Cowboys placed four players in double figures, but didn't have an answer for the USC frontcourt. They return home for a five-game run.
South Carolina: the Gamecocks will try to complete a sweep of its three-game home stint when it takes on Coastal Carolina, Saturday.
Wyoming: Wyoming will try to get back on track when it hosts Pacific in the first of a four-game home stand Saturday. The Cowboys have dropped three of their last five decisions.