Georgia hands South Carolina first home loss

Silas Demary Jr. collected 15 points and seven rebounds to fuel visiting Georgia to a 74-69 victory over South Carolina in a battle between Southeastern Conference rivals on Tuesday in Columbia, S.C.

RJ Melendez scored 12 points off the bench and Jabri Abdur-Rahim added 11 for the Bulldogs (13-4, 3-1 SEC), who have won 11 of their last 12 games.

Neither team shot particularly well from the floor, however Georgia enjoyed the advantage at the free-throw line. The Bulldogs converted 78.1 percent of their shots from charity stripe (25 of 32) — with Demary making 9 of 12 attempts — while the Gamecocks made just 53.1 percent (17 of 32).

Meechie Johnson scored 19 points and B.J. Mack added 16 for South Carolina (14-3, 2-2), which sustained its first loss at home this season.

Gamecocks guard Myles Stute sustained a left shoulder injury while battling for position after a foul shot during the second half. He did not return to the game.

South Carolina scored 14 of the first 20 points of the second half to seize a 48-39 lead. Collin Murray-Boyles scored the first five points of the half and Stute added a 3-pointer to highlight the surge.

Georgia countered with a 19-3 run to take a 58-51 lead. Justin Hill scored six straight points to ignite that sequence and Abdur-Rahim drained a 3-pointer to cap it for the Bulldogs.

Murray-Boyles made two free throws and Johnson added a 3-pointer to bring the Gamecocks within two at 58-56 with 4:57 remaining in the second half. Georgia responded by making eight free throws before Frank Anselem-Ibe’s jumper to push its lead to 68-62 with 1:40 left.

The teams traded baskets before Johnson sank a 3-pointer to pull South Carolina within three at 70-67 with 33 seconds left. Melendez made two free throws and Johnson misfired on his 3-point attempt to effectively seal the result.

Johnson drained a 3-pointer to stake South Carolina to a 27-21 lead before Georgia responded with a 10-0 run. Demary made two free throws and Melendez sank two 3-pointers and a jumper during that sequence.