By Andrew Kahn
South Carolina trailed nationwide champion favourite Duke by 10 factors early within the second half on Sunday. However the Gamecocks made a run, punctuated by two Chris Silva dunks. The sophomore acquired a move forward of the pack and threw it down to chop the deficit to at least one, then put South Carolina forward with a baseline alley-oop from Sindarius Thornwell that whipped the Greenville crowd right into a frenzy. The 7-seed Gamecocks gained, 88-eighty one, to advance to the Candy sixteen in Madison Sq. Backyard. They’ll face three-seed Baylor on Friday (7:29 pm ET, TBS).
>>MORE: NCAA Event Protection
Showing in its first NCAA Event since 2004, South Carolina wouldn’t have pulled off the upset with out Silva. He scored 10 factors towards Marquette to earn this system’s first Event win since 1973. Towards Duke, the Gamecocks scored simply 23 factors within the first half however exploded for sixty five within the second. Requested what clicked offensively within the second half, Thornwell stated, “We obtained the ball inside. Chris did an ideal job of posting up and we simply fed him. … Chris was the distinction within the second half. He confirmed up massive time for us.”
Silva scored thirteen of his 17 factors within the second half. Along with the 2 dunks, he hit an elbow jumper and twice completed on the rim in visitors together with his left hand. For the sport, he made all 5 of his foul photographs, grabbed 10 rebounds (together with 5 on offense) and blocked two photographs in half-hour.
South Carolina head coach Frank Martin stated Silva performed like a “grown man” within the second half, which was particularly necessary since he felt his group settled for threes early within the recreation. “Chris was very nervous,” he advised reporters after the sport. “He had alternatives within the first half to attain and he missed photographs, he fumbled balls. However he stayed with it. To start out the second half we made it some extent to throw it to him, and he performed robust. I’m unbelievably pleased with him.”
Silva performed organized basketball for the primary time in highschool in New Jersey, after arriving from his native Gabon at age 15. He put lots of muscle on his 6’9” body and have become a prime-one hundred fifty prospect. Silva, now listed at 223 kilos, averaged 10 factors and 5.eight rebounds this season, whereas capturing fifty five % from the sector and seventy five % from the free throw line, all main will increase from his freshman yr.
“I’m more durable on Chris Silva than anybody on our group as a result of he might be so good and he’s simply studying the sport,” Martin stated after the Duke…