USC went on a 10-1 run over a three-minute period late in the second half to stretch an eight-point lead to 17, and the Gamecocks defeated USC-Upstate 78-60 in the season opener for both teams at the Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks led 63-55 with 6:32 left and then put their run together capped by a three pointer from Erik Stevenson for a 73-56 lead.
Jermaine Couisnard and Wildens Leveque led the Gamecocks with 14 points each. Leveque matched his career high in points which he set in last season’s SEC Tournament loss. The Gamecocks shot 39.5% from the floor, 14-21 from the line and just 4-19 from three-point range. They did win the boards by 18 and outscored the Spartans in the paint 42-20.
Bryson Mozone led Upstate with 20 points and Jalen Breazeale added 17.
The Gamecocks will play their next two games in a weekend tournament in Asheville opening with Princeton Friday night. They will face either Minnesota or Western Kentucky on Sunday.