South Carolina Defeats Mississippi, 67-66
January 27, 1999
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - LeRon Williams, back from a three-game suspension, scored 12 points, including the game-winning free throws with 13.9 seconds left as South Carolina ended a seven-game losing streak with a 67-66 win over Mississippi on Wednesday night.
The Gamecocks (6-13, 1-6 Southeastern Conference) recovered from a 47-point loss at Syracuse on Sunday by coming back from 12 points down against the Rebels (14-7, 4-4) in the second half.
It looked like the pressure of a losing season and embarrassing loss got to South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler, called for a technical for arguing a charging call against star BJ McKie.
Mississippi's Keith Carter made one of two technical foul shots with 1:35 left to give Ole Miss a 66-65 lead. But that was all the Rebels could muster as they were held to four points in the final 7:29.
Carter's 3-pointer glanced off the backboard with 3.3 seconds to go, and the Gamecocks finally became the last SEC team to win a league game.
Gamecock freshman Aaron Lucas scored a career-high 21 points and McKie had 19 - moving him 16 away from tying NBA Hall-of-Famer Alex English for the school's career scoring leader.
Williams missed the Gamecocks' past three games for violating team rules. And South Carolina could have used his strong physical presence - he had 12 rebounds against Mississippi - in losses at Alabama (78-70) and Vanderbilt (77-66).
South Carolina, which got blown out by Syracuse at the Carrier Dome 84-37, looked like it still felt the effects early on in this one.
Marcus Hicks had two inside baskets to start a 23-7 run that put Ole Miss up 29-15 with 6:23 to go before halftime.
But the Gamecocks closed with an 18-8 spurt as Williams had six points and Lucas hit two 3-pointers. South Carolina trailed 37-33 at halftime.
Mississippi quickly moved out to a 50-38 lead as Hicks had two more baskets and Carter hit one of his four 3-pointers with 16:24 to go.
But South Carolina showed patience for a change and took advantage of Rebel mistakes down the stretch.
South Carolina was without starting center Bud Johnson, suspended hours
before the game for a violation of team policy.
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