By KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Chris Silva had 22 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to help South Carolina snap a three-game skid with a 71-54 win over Texas A&M on Tuesday night.
South Carolina (15-15, 10-7 Southeastern Conference) led for the majority of the night and used a big run in the first part of the second half to pull away for good.
The Gamecocks led by 5 at halftime and had pushed the lead to 52-40 after scoring five straight points, capped by a 3 from Silva, with about 15 minutes left.
Wendell Mitchell made four quick points for the Aggies after that. But South Carolina countered with a 10-1 spurt that extended it to 62-45 with about eight minutes remaining and cruised to the victory. Keyshawn Bryant and Hassani Gravett scored three points each in that stretch and Silva capped it with a dunk.
The Gamecocks made 8 of 10 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 13 3s. It was their second big long-range shooting game against the Aggies this season after they tied a school record by sinking 16 in an 84-77 win on Feb. 16.
Freshman A.J. Lawson led the team with six 3s in that first meeting, but with Lawson out with an ankle injury, Gravett and Silva led the way on Tuesday, making four each.
Texas A&M (13-16, 6-11) got 15 points from Mitchell and 14 from Savion Flagg as it lost for the second time in three games.
The Gamecocks had shot just 36.3 percent from the field during their losing streak, but rediscovered their offense against A&M, making 45 percent of their field goals, including shooting 57 percent on 3s.
Gravett added 17 points with eight assists for South Carolina and Bryant finished with 15 points.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks got back on track offensively after three tough games, but will need to keep it up if they hope to make any noise in the SEC tournament next week.
Texas A&M: The Aggies managed to play well enough to hand Vanderbilt its 17th straight loss on Saturday, but they’ll have to play much better if they hope to wrap up this tough regular season on a high note or do anything in the conference tournament.
South Carolina: Hosts Georgia on Saturday to end the regular season.
Texas A&M: Wraps up the regular season at Mississippi State on Saturday.