Frink, South Carolina Hold Off Georgia in OT, 94-90

Frink, South Carolina Hold Off Georgia in OT, 94-90
South Carolina improved to 17-11 with an overtime win over Georgia on Wednesday (Source: South Carolina Athletics)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina senior Maik Kotsar scored five points and drew the game-clinching charge in overtime on Wednesday as South Carolina outlasted Georgia 94-90.

The Gamecocks' power forward, the only player remaining from their 2017 Final Four team, is quietly having an all-conference season that continued against Georgia with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Yet his biggest play was standing his ground as Bulldogs point guard Sahvir Wheeler drove the lane with less than five seconds to play in overtime and South Carolina (17-11, 9-6 SEC) nursing a two-point lead.

"I just saw him coming and I knew I had to be on help defense, and I guess I just stood there," Kotsar said.

Wheeler plowed into him and Kotsar was rewarded with a whistle. On the inbound, Kotsar threw a baseball pass to Keyshawn Bryant, who was fouled and made two free throws for the final margin.

"That was a good win," a relieved South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. "That's why when you go through the battles with players, you can't be scared to coach them. (Kotsar) responded and took ownership and didn't run away from it."

Gamecocks sophomore Alanzo Frink scored a career-high 22 points as Georgia (14-14, 4-11) had no answer for South Carolina's interior. Frink, Jalyn McCreary, Keyshawn Bryant and Kotsar helped push South Carolina to 54 points in the paint, much like the 40 they scored in a 75-59 paddling of the Bulldogs in Athens on Feb. 12.

"We don't have the size, obviously. We didn't play as much zone because we weren't able to get back to it as quick," Georgia coach Tom Crean said. "But they're just bigger than us."

Crean only said, "Judgment call" when asked about the charge. It was another stinging loss in a season full of them.

The Bulldogs blew second-half leads of 12 (Alabama), 22 (Florida) and 20 (Missouri) before Wednesday. They led by three with 80 seconds to play in regulation Wednesday, and by one with 2:03 to play in overtime.

Georgia got 36 points from freshman star Anthony Edwards but little help from his teammates, only Rayshaun Hammonds (13) and Toumani Camara (10) joining him in double figures. It was nearly enough, as the Gamecocks forgot to keep targeting their bigs and let their guards (a combined 6-of-27 from the floor) shoot.

But AJ Lawson nailed a 3-pointer, one of just three for South Carolina, with 66 seconds to go in regulation after Georgia had taken a three-point lead. Jermaine Couisnard missed a game-winning shot at the end of the period but made five free throws in overtime to keep the Gamecocks afloat.

KEY STATS

> After making six 3s in the first half, Georgia was 2-for-12 from deep in the second half and overtime (16.7 percent).

> The Gamecocks were dominant inside, outscoring the Bulldogs in the paint, 54-38. The mark surpassed a previous season high of 52 points inside in the road win at UMASS (12/4/19) earlier this season.

NOTABLES

> Sophomore big man Alanzo Frink recorded his first career 20-point game tonight scoring a team-high 22 points on 8-of-10 (80.0 percent) shooting.

> Senior forward Maik Kotsar extended his career best streak to nine straight games in double figures with 19 points in the win over Georgia. Kotsar is just eight away from reaching 1,000 for his career in the Garnet and Black after tonight's performance vs. the Bulldogs.

> Both Kotsar, with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Bryant, with 16 points and 10 rebounds, recorded double-doubles for Carolina vs. UGA. It marked the first time two Gamecocks recorded a double-double in the same game since Chris Silva (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Frank Booker (27 points, 10 rebounds) did so versus Auburn on March 3, 2018.

> Carolina matched a season high with 22 assists versus Georgia, led by four each from Kotsar, Lawson, Couisnard and Moss.

> All five players in South Carolina's starting five scored in double figures marking the first time that's happened in 2019-20 season.

> The Gamecocks' 94 points are tied for the third most in the Frank Martin era at South Carolina (also scored 94 vs. LSU (2/10/16) and vs. Hofstra (11/22/15).

UP NEXT

South Carolina travels to face Alabama (15-13, 7-8 SEC) on Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. ET tipoff at Coleman Coliseum. The meeting is the only between the two schools this SEC regular season. Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Pat Bradley (analyst) will have the call for the SEC Network broadcast.