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SEC Basketball Tournament 2015 Day 1: South Carolina 63, Missouri 54

The Gamecocks advance while a disappointing season for the Tigers ends.

Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

The 11-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks kept the 14-seeded Missouri Tigers at arm's length and won Game 2 of the 2015 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament 63-54.

The Tigers opened up the game with a 2-0 lead, but it was the only lead they'd have all night. South Carolina scored the next seven points and never trailed or even fell into a tie the rest of the way. The Gamecocks would lead by as many as 13 in the first half, but MU battle back to pull within six at halftime. The game was closer for much of the second half, but the Gamecocks put some distance between the teams towards the end. They achieved their first double digit lead of the half at 61-51 with 2:21 to go, and they kept Missouri from scoring anything but a meaningless three with ten seconds to go.

Sindarius Thornwell was the star of the game, pouring in 18 points and dishing out six assists. Michael Carrera also had 12 points and six rebounds for the Gamecocks. Montaque Gill-Caesar was the lone Tiger in double digits with 10 points off the bench, while Johnathan Williams III had nine points and 11 rebounds. Mizzou outrebounded Carolina by a 35-26 margin, but it couldn't take advantage thanks to a dismal 36% shooting night from the floor.

This was Missouri's first failure to win an SEC Tournament game in the three years the Tigers have been participating. The game is a disappointing way to end a disappointing season, as Kim Anderson inherited a mess from Frank Haith and will need time to rebuild.

It's South Carolina's second straight year of winning at least a game after the Gamecocks made a surprise run to the quarterfinals last year as the 13-seed. South Carolina gets 6-seed Ole Miss next on Thursday night.