Lamont Paris has his first trophy as head coach of the USC men’s basketball team. The Gamecocks won the championship of the first Arizona Tip Off in Phoenix Sunday night with a hard fought 75-68 win over Grand Canyon. The Gamecocks improved to 5-0 continuing their best start on a season since their magical 2017 run to the Final Four.
The Gamecocks were dialed in with their shooting Sunday night hitting 54% from the floor, 41% from three, and 14-16 from the foul line.
Wofford transfer BJ Mack had the best game of his brief Gamecock career with 27 points, three rebounds and two assists. He was a perfect 9-9 from the foul line. Myles Stute added 12 points and Jacobi Wright 10 including a pair of crucial baskets in the final minutes.
USC held their biggest lead of 11 points with 9:36 to play. Four minutes later, the lead was down to two. Mack then scored the game’s next six points to extend the lead back to eight. The lead was four with 2:01 to play when Wright nailed a contested jumper for the first of his two big late baskets. The second one was a layup with :46 remaining to give the Gamecocks a five-point lead.
The last gasp for the Antelopes was a missed three-pointer with :19 to play. The Gamecocks grabbed the rebound. Mack was fouled with :15 left on the clock and made both foul shots for the final seven-point margin.
The Gamecocks will have this week off and will host Notre Dame as part of the SEC-ACC Challenge on November 28th.