COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Robert Covington scored 16 points and Jordan Cyphers came off the bench to add 12 to lead Tennessee State past South Carolina 64-63 Sunday night, its first victory in 24 tries against a Southeastern Conference team.
South Carolina (1-2), which trailed by 22 with 14:49 remaining, had a chance to force overtime on two R.J. Slawson free throws with 7.5 seconds remaining, but the 78 percent free-throw shooter missed the second.
The Gamecocks fouled and Covington missed the front-end of a one-and-one. South Carolina couldn't get a shot off as Will Peters and Patrick Miller stripped the ball away at midcourt.
The only previous win for the Tigers (2-2) came against Fisk, an NAIA team, and they lost their opener to Saint Louis by 34 points.
Eric Smith scored all 18 of his points in the second half for South Carolina.
The game was part of the Las Vegas Invitational.