COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina opens up a two-game homestand on Tuesday when it hosts No. 14 Mississippi State at Colonial Life Arena. Tip time versus the Bulldogs is set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU with Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Daymeon Fishback (analyst) on the call. STARTING FIVE > South Carolina began league play in thrilling fashion on Saturday, as Chris Silva's dunk with 2.5 seconds remaining would be the game winner in a 71-69 road win at Florida. The Gamecocks trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, and steadily fought back to tie the contest with 4:39 remaining. Carolina's stout defense held the Gators without a field goal the final 7:17 of the game. > Carolina's win in Gainesville was its second-straight road win in the series, that happening for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign. It was also Carolina's first win in a league opener since the 2017 campaign (win at Georgia). > Senior forward Chris Silva was in foul trouble early vs. the Gators, playing just four minutes in the opening half. He scored all 18 of his points, including a 5-of-6 effort from the floor, and an 8-of-9 performance at the free throw line, in the second half. He's now hit double-figures in six straight games, averaging a team high 16.2 points per game in the stretch. > Senior guard Hassani Gravett provided a huge lift for the Gamecocks off the bench in Saturday's road win. He scored a game high 22 points, to go along with six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Gravett connected on four 3-pointers, marking his seventh game this season with multiple 3s. > The Gamecocks look to snap a two-game losing streak to Mississippi State on Tuesday when the Bulldogs travel to Colonial Life Arena. MSU won both meetings last season, including an overtime home win in late February. Mississippi State has now won three of the last five meetings between the two schools. THROUGH THE FIRST 13 GAMES... > The Gamecocks are 6-7 overall and 1-0 in SEC contests following the team's first road win of the season at Florida ... In home games, Carolina is 4-4, having posted a 97-46 win in the last game at Colonial Life Arena over North Greenville on Dec. 31 ... Rookie guard A.J. Lawson paces the Gamecocks with 13.2 points per game, Silva adds 12.9 per outing and Gravett 10.8 ... Gravett's 41.1 percent from 3-point range is a team best, while sophomore forward Felipe Haase's 86.7 (26-30) percent from the free throw line is a team high.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS > Carolina is 6-7 overall and 1-0 in the SEC entering the matchup vs. Mississippi State. > Gamecock seniors - Gravett (22), Silva (18) and Campbell (6), tallied 46 combined points to lead the squad in the win at Florida. Campbell also played a team high 37 minutes, dishing four assists. > Over the course of the last five games, Silva is averaging 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per outing. Gravett adds 12.2 points per game as well. > Over the course of their careers vs. MSU, Silva is averaging 11.2 points per game (6 games), and Gravett 8.5 (4 games). > Gravett recorded a then-career high in last season's matchup in Starkville between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs. He hit a long-range 3 at the buzzer to force the contest to OT, and finished with 19 points. > The Gamecocks are 5-2 when leading at the half this season. > South Carolina returns seven letterwinners from last season's 17-16 squad, including senior guard Hassani Gravett and senior forward Chris Silva. > Carolina welcomes nine newcomers to its roster this season, including transfers and six freshmen student-athletes. Jair Bolden (transfer/George Washington/guard), redshirt-junior Raymond "Quad" Borup (r-junior/forward), graduate transfer Tre Campbell (transfer/Georgetown/guard), Keyshawn Bryant(freshman/guard), Jermaine Couisnard (freshman/guard), Alanzo Frink (freshman/forward), A.J. Lawson(freshman/guard), T.J. Moss (freshman/guard) and Nathan Nelson (freshman/forward). SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS > Mississippi State is 12-1 on the year, which includes a 1-0 mark on the road. MSU has not started SEC action yet. > Mississippi State is led by head coach Ben Howland in his fourth season. > Five average double-figures for the Bulldogs, led by Quinndary Weatherspoon's 17.2 points per game. Lamar Peters (13.2), Aric Holman (12.5), Tyson Carter (10.5) and Nick Weatherspoon (10.1) are also in double digits. > Peters' 6.2 assists per game are a team high, and rank fourth in the SEC. > In the SEC stats, MSU is seventh in scoring offense (80.2 ppg), and sixth in scoring defense (66.7 ppg). The Bulldogs' +6.7 rebound margin is fourth in the league, with Holman pulling down a team high 8.6 rebounds per game, which is third in the SEC. > Individually, Q. Weatherspoon's 17.2 points per outing are fourth in the league, and he is also one of the best at the free throw line, as his 85.7 percent is second.