The Frank Martin era at USC got off to a winning start Sunday afternoon at the Colonial Life Arena, but it took a major second half rally and an extra five minutes to make it happen. The Gamecocks defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee 82-75 overcoming a 17 point second half deficit and pulling away in the overtime session.
The Gamecocks were 17 of 24 (70.8%) from the floor in the second half after shooting just 26.5% in the first half. They were 12 for 12 from the line in overtime outscoring the Panthers 16-9 in the extra session.
Guard Brenton Williams, who was inserted into the game when Eric Smith went out with leg cramps, scored the final 12 points for the Gamecocks with a pair of layups and 8-8 shooting from the line. The Gamecocks, who were 0-11 on three pointers, were 26-31 from the line.
Four Gamecocks scored in double figures led by guard LaShay Page with 19 points. Michael Carrera added 17 points and 15 rebounds. The Gamecocks won the rebounding battle by 12.
Point guard Jordan Aaron of Milwaukee led all scorers with 28.
“Good win for us,” Martin said. “Good win. Real proud of seeing our kids fight back and figure out a way to get this win. I felt going into this game they (Milwaukee) were pretty good. Proud of our guys.”
AUDIO: Martin discusses his first win at USC [3:22]
The Gamecocks are back in action Friday night at home against Morgan State.