Lamont Paris proclaimed throughout the pre-season that his second team at USC would be a much better outside shooting team, and a much better defensive team, than his first team. One game into the regular season, Paris has evidence to back up those claims. The Gamecocks shot 55% from three-point land Monday night in a season opening 82-53 win over Upstate at the Colonial Life Arena.
Six different Gamecocks made a three-pointer with Ta’lon Cooper and BJ Mack knocking down three apiece. Cooper and Meechie Johnson led the Gamecocks with 15 points each. Mack added 13 points.
Defensively, the Gamecocks limited the Spartans to 35.6% shooting, and only 4-16 from three. USC also won the boards 45-27 including ten off the offensive glass that led to 12 second chance points.
USC led 42-28 at the half. The lead was 47-34 with just over 16 minutes to play when the Gamecocks rolled off ten straight points. The Gamecocks continued to add to their lead with 31 points being the greatest margin with just a minute left in the game.
The Gamecocks will face Virginia Tech Friday night in Charlotte as part of the Hall of Fame Series.