Brady Heslip scored 18 points and hit five threes and Isaiah Austin chipped in with 14 points as No. 23 Baylor overcame a hideous 22-for-43 performance from the free throw line to knock off South Carolina in Waco, 66-64.
As has been the case with seemingly every game played early on this season, the Bears struggled with foul trouble throughout much of the contest, but a no-call on the final play of the game is what ended up earning Scott Drew’s team a win.
Down by two with 16 seconds left, South Carolina’s freshman sensation Sindarious Thornwell drove to the rim and missed a couple shots right around the rim before Michael Carrera gathered the ball and seemingly was fouled as the buzzer sounded. The referees reviewed the call, however, and determined that the foul came after time had expired, sending Baylor home with a win.
The Bears have some typical Baylor issues, but at the end of the day, if they had made their free throws, Scott Drew’s club would have beaten the Gamecocks fairly handily.
That said, South Carolina certainly made a positive impression on the folks that had a chance to watch the game. Thornwell looks like he has a chance to be an excellent player in the SEC, Villanova transfer Ty Johnson was a monster addition as he was ruled eligible immediately last week, and the combination of Demetrius Henry and Michael Carrera has a ton of promise up front.
Frank Martin’s team is young, and with that comes the expectation of mistakes.
What is clear, however, is that South Carolina is headed in the right direction. And given the fact that they play in a very weak SEC this season, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they can make a push to finish in the top half of the conference.