Colonial Life Arena: South Carolina shot over 50% from the floor in winning their first two games of the season. Monday night in Columbia, the Gamecocks found a way to win when the shots weren’t dropping. They ran their record to 3-0 with a 74-64 victory over VMI giving the Gamecocks their best start in four years.
USC shot only 35% from the floor (25-71) 17-25 from the line and made just 7-23 from three-point range, but they made up for that with good defense and offensive rebounding.
The Gamecocks forced 16 turnovers, including 10 steals, that they converted to 14 points, including ten points on fastbreaks. The also had a season high 21 offensive rebounds that produced 12 second chance points.
The Gamecocks jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but the Keydets actually took control of the game and led 14-11 midway through the first half as the Gamecocks missed seven straight shots. . USC then went on an 11-0 run making eight of their next ten shots. Meechie Johnson scored seven of the 11 points during the rally to a 22-14 lead.
The Gamecocks took their lead to 14 points before settling for an eight-point halftime advantage. USC scored the first six points of the second half and they held a double-digit lead for most of the rest of the second half.
BJ Mack led the Gamecocks with 17 points and 13 rebounds tying his career high in boards. Johnson added 13 points.
The Gamecocks now head west for two games in Phoenix. They will play DePaul late Friday night and either Grand Canyon or San Franciso on Sunday.