Bolden leads South Carolina past No. 9 Virginia, 70-59

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Jair Bolden scored 15 of his 22 points in the first half and AJ Lawson had 10 of his 14 in the second to help South Carolina beat No. 9 Virginia 70-59 on Sunday.

The Gamecocks (8-4) led 23-11, saw Virginia pull even at 45 with just over 11 minutes to play and promptly scored 12 of the next 17 points. The Cavaliers never got closer than five the rest of the way.

Mamadi Diakite scored a career-high 21 points to lead Virginia (9-2). The Cavaliers had a season-high 19 turnovers, leading to 23 Gamecocks points. South Carolina shot 55.1%, connecting on 27 of 49 attempts.

Justin Minaya added 12 points for South Carolina, 10 after halftime.

KEY STATS
> South Carolina's offense was efficient and effective against the nation's No. 1 scoring defense, scoring 70 points (most allowed by UVA this season) while shooting 55 percent (27-for-49) from the floor. UVA came into the contest allowing just 44.2 points per game.
> The Gamecocks were effective on the other end of the court as well, forcing 19 turnovers by the Cavaliers which led to 23 points. Carolina held UVA scoreless the final 2:15 of the game.

NOTABLES
> Redshirt junior guard Jair Bolden had his first 20-point outing as a Gamecock today, finishing with a game-high 23 points. He matched career highs with eight made field goals and four 3s.
> The Gamecocks improve to 7-1 in the 2019-20 season when Bolden scores 10 or more.
> Sophomore guard AJ Lawson (14), redshirt sophomore Justin Minaya (12) and sophomore wing Keyshawn Bryant (10) also finished in double figures.
> It's the first double-figure outing for Minaya since scoring 10 vs. Boston (11/19/19) earlier this season.
> South Carolina is undefeated in true road contest (3-0) this season.
> Today marked the Gamecocks' first win in Charlottesville (first ever at John Paul Jones Arena) since a 74-67 victory on March 13, 2002.
> Carolina, who led by nine at halftime, is now 8-1 this season in games when leading at the break.
> The Cavaliers went on a 16-3 run midway through the second half to tie the game, 45-45, with 11:09 remaining. In a crucial stretch, the Gamecocks answered right back with a 12-2 run of their own to push the team's lead back to double digits, 63:52, with 4:28 to go.

UP NEXT
Carolina returns to Columbia to host Stetson on Dec. 30 following the holiday break. Tip time for that contest is set for 3 p.m. ET at Colonial Life Arena.