NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tyrone Johnson's three free throws with 0.7 seconds left gave South Carolina a wild 60-58 victory over Mississippi on Thursday night in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Several seconds after Jarvis Summers' four-point play put the Rebels up by one, Laimonas Chatkevicius inbounded the ball to Johnson, who drove past halfcourt and prepared to launch a desperation 3-pointer that was contested by LaDarius White, who was called for the foul. That put Johnson on the line with a chance to win the game, and he calmly sank all three shots to leave Mississippi with a desperation heave.
Stefan Moody's shot wasn't close and came too late for the No. 6 seed Rebels.
The 11th-seeded Gamecocks (17-15) advanced to face No. 3 seed Georgia in Friday's quarterfinal.
Michael Carrera scored 16 points, Duane Notice added 15 and Sindarius Thornwell 10 for South Carolina, which won on a ragged night in which both teams shot 30 percent.
In fact, free throws were more the story than baskets on each bench.
That was just fine for the Gamecocks, who made three more from the line (20) than the field (17) and kept its season alive with their third straight win.
White led Mississippi (20-12) with 17 points while Summers added 15 with 8-of-8 shooting from the foul line. The Rebels made 19 of 23 free throws compared to 16 of 53 field-goal attempts.
Mississippi had looked to rebound after dropping its regular season finale to Vanderbilt but often played catch-up against South Carolina and kept missing numerous chances to go ahead before Summers' miracle shot with 3.3 seconds left that was upheld on review. His free throw seemed to provide amazing finish before Johnson forced the action and got free throws that won the game for the Gamecocks.
Mississippi lost despite outrebounding South Carolina 44-33 while its bench outscored the Gamecocks 25-7. But 21 turnovers ultimately hurt the Rebels as South Carolina converted those mistakes into 19 points.
But the ending typified a game in which no lead was certain.
Mississippi trailed 26-16 with just under three minutes left in the first half but rallied within 27-24 at halftime. Even after South Carolina seemed poised for another double-digit lead early in the second half, Mississippi stayed close with White's 3-pointer and solid free-throw shooting and finally earned its first lead late in the game.
Mississippi: The Rebels committed 15 first-half turnovers leading to 14 South Carolina points.
South Carolina: Thornwell, a 73 percent free-throw shooter, missed three first-half attempts after being fouled behind the arc.
Mississippi: Waiting on NCAA/NIT bid.
South Carolina: Faces Georgia on Friday.