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South Carolina holds off Missouri 63-54 at SEC tournament

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Sindarius Thornwell scored 18 points and tied his career-high with four 3-pointers as South Carolina beat Missouri 63-54 Wednesday night in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

The 11th-seeded Gamecocks (16-15) have won three of their last four, and this gives them their best season since winning 21 in 2008-09. They will play sixth-seeded Mississippi on Thursday night.

Michael Carrera added 12 points for South Carolina.

Missouri (9-23) finishes the season having lost 16 of the Tigers’ final 18 games. The 14th-seeded Tigers sure made it interesting not letting South Carolina run away. They got within a possession seven times in the second half, the last at 52-50 when Montaque Gill-Caesar hit two free throws with 6:42 to go.

Carrera answered with a jumper to start an 11-1 spurt as South Carolina pulled away.

Gill-Caesar finished with a team-high 10 points.