Kotsar, South Carolina rally to beat Tennessee 63-61
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s Maik Kotsar swished four free throws in the final 21 seconds to deliver an improbable 63-61 win over Tennessee on Saturday.
Trailing 60-59 with 75 seconds left, the Gamecocks (16-9, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) were kicking themselves for their own mistakes. One of the nation’s worst teams at fouling and shooting free throws was once again living up to its twin reputation, with 24 fouls and 13 misses from the line.
Yet, after Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi turned the ball over, and Jordan Bowden fouled Kotsar to prevent a fast break, the senior forward calmly swished two free throws for a one-point lead.
Tennessee’s John Fulkerson was then called for a charge. Kotsar went back to the foul line and made a pair for a three-point lead. Coincidentally, it was Fulkerson who drew a charge to seal a 56-55 win over South Carolina on Jan. 11.
Charleston native Josiah-Jordan James made his first, then intentionally threw his second shot into the rim. He came up with the rebound but his shot attempt fell short.
Fulkerson scored a career-high 25 points while Kotsar led the Gamecocks with 13.