Sam Muldrow led the way for USC with 20 points and 4 boards as the Gamecocks defeated Elon 94-79 Friday at the Colonial Life Arena to open the 2010 season. The Gamecocks showed flashes of brilliance in the victory, but also displayed their youth and inexperience. With a big lead in the second half USC stopped running their offense and forced bad shot after bad shot, allowing Elon to cut what was once a 28 point deficit down to 11 with just 4 minutes to play.
This USC team is fast, long and extremely aggressive. The Gamecocks had 14 fast break points while also scoring 48 in the paint. USC had 6 players in double figures and shot 53% from the field. They shot 56% from beyond the arc which is strong, but shot the same percentage from the free throw line, which needs to be addressed before SEC play.
Forward Lakeem Jackson posted a complete performance with 13 points, 10 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals. Freshman guard Bruce Ellington ran the point well, dishing out 7 assists while only committing one turnover.
The Gamecocks are back in action Tuesday night as they travel to East Lansing, Michigan to face the #2 ranked Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans return a team that made the final four last season. Tip-off is 9 pm on ESPN.