COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Sindarius Thornwell scored 22 points to lead No. 19 South Carolina to an 81-72 victory over Missouri on Saturday.
The Gamecocks (16-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) never trailed, but never could put the overmatched Tigers (8-9, 1-3) away either. It was their first game for the Gamecocks since losing at Alabama, their first of the season.
Missouri trailed 63-57 with 7 minutes to go when Cullen Vanleer missed an open 3-point attempt. Thornwell pushed the ball up court, made a basket and was fouled. He made the free throw and South Carolina led by at least seven points the rest of the game.
Wes Clark led Missouri with a career-best 26 points and eight assists, accounting for almost two-thirds of Missouri’s 28 baskets. He was 10 of 16 from the field and had six rebounds.
Mindaugas Kacinas added 14 points for South Carolina, while freshman PJ Dozier had 11.