Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Behind a career-high 38-point effort from Brenton Williams, the South Carolina Gamecocks held off the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 79-72, in an SEC showdown at Colonial Life Arena.
Williams came off the bench to shoot 10-of-17 from the field (including 6-of-9 from 3-point range) and 12-of-12 from the foul line for South Carolina (14-16, 4-13 SEC), which snapped a three-game losing streak. The point total for Williams was the most in school history against an SEC contest.
For Mississippi State (8-21, 3-14), Craig Sword netted 20 points, while Jalen Steele (17 points) and Roquez Johnson (12 points) were both effective off the bench.
A tightly-contested first half ended with South Carolina up, 34-32, even though Mississippi State outshot the Gamecocks from the field, 52.6 percent to 45.8 percent.
The Gamecocks took control early in the second half with a 22-2 run to go ahead, 59-37, with under nine minutes to play. The Bulldogs battled back to make their deficit single-digits late but they could not get over the hump.
Mississippi State was plagued by 20 turnovers, which South Carolina turned into 25 points.