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Dozier, McKie helps No. 19 SC sweep Georgia 77-75

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Justin McKie stood at the free throw line, much like his famous father BJ, ready to keep No. 19 South Carolina on track for more Southeastern Conference success.

Was the younger McKie thinking about his dad’s old team 20 years ago that went on to win the Gamecocks only SEC title?

Not at all.

“I was thinking, `We’ve got to go win this game. They already did it,”‘ said McKie, who swished two foul shots in the final seconds to lock up South Carolina’s 77-75 victory over Georgia on Saturday.

The win keeps the Gamecocks (19-4, 9-1) tracking another title run like the one led by the elder McKie, South Carolina’s all-time leading scorer, in 1997.

South Carolina seemed to have things in hand, up 67-58 with 3:15 to go after McKie’s 3-pointer. Georgia, though, used a 15-8 run over the next 3 minutes to cut the lead to 75-73 with 9 seconds to go – and give the McKie family the chance to shine in a big spot once more.

Justin McKie did not disappoint.

“Who’s at the line shooting two but another McKie?” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. “It’s kind of neat.”

Especially when you consider what could be ahead for the Gamecocks, who guaranteed themselves no worse than a tie for the top heading into next week.

“This really means a lot,” South Carolina guard Sindarius Thornwell said.

PJ Dozier scored seven of his 21 points in the final 2:21, Thornwell had 18 points and Duane Notice 15 for South Carolina’s second straight win over Georgia after going 0-3 vs. the Bulldogs last season.

J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten had 18 points apiece for Georgia.

For the Bulldogs, it was a second straight disappointing road loss to a ranked opponent. They led in the final minute at No. 8 Kentucky before falling in overtime, 90-81 last Tuesday.

“As a competitor, I don’t like to lose. I’m frustrated,” Frazier said. “But we don’t have any choice but to put it behind us.”

THE BIG PICTURE

Georgia: The Bulldogs carried over their strong play in an overtime loss at Kentucky, making seven straight shots to keep in things in the opening half. They also enjoyed edges in rebounding (36-28) and made foul shots (22-14).

South Carolina: The Gamecocks hoped to get off to a fast start, yet had trouble keeping up with Georgia’s inside strength. South Carolina forwards Maik Kotsar and Chris Silva each spent time on the bench with two fouls. That can’t continue if the Gamecocks hope to remain in the SEC chase.

TITLE CHASING

The Gamecocks improved to 9-1 in the SEC, their second-best start since going 10-0 in 1997. That group went 15-1 to take the league crown, but its lone loss was to the Bulldogs. South Carolina’s most difficult stretch left could be at Vanderbilt and at No. 24 Florida in consecutive games in two weeks.

STRUGGLES IN THE PAINT

South Carolina saw both of its primary post players in Silva and Kotsar foul out against Georgia. The two picked up two first-half fouls and played only 17 of a possible 40 minutes. While Kotsar had seven points and six rebounds in the second half, the 6-foot-9 Silva finished with zero rebounds for just the second game of the sophomore’s college career.

UP NEXT

Georgia hosts No. 24 Florida on Tuesday night.

South Carolina finishes a two-game home stand with Alabama on Tuesday night.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.

 

UNC Wilmington transfer C.J. Bryce follows Kevin Keatts to N.C. State

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N.C. State landed an impact transfer on Saturday as UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce will be following former head coach Kevin Keatts to the Wolfpack, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com

The 6-foot-5 Bryce averaged 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season as he helped the Seahawks to an NCAA tournament appearance. Bryce will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations, but he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out one season.

With N.C. State getting center Omer Yurtseven back for next season, and with the addition of Bryce, it means that Keatts has retained, or added, some talented players for the next few seasons. The Wolfpack still have to fill a lot of roster spots from last season’s team, but Keatts seems to be having a really good week.