Gamecocks get hot hands, knock off Jacksonville 91-74

South Carolina (6-3) defeated Jacksonville (4-6) 91-74 in non-conference action at Colonial Life Arena on Friday night. Freshman forward Michael Carrera led the Gamecocks as one of four players reaching double figures with 17 points and a game-high 9 rebounds.

Junior guard Brian Richardson went 4-for-4 from behind the arc to score a season-best 16 points. Fellow junior guards Brenton Williams and Bruce Ellington tallied 12 a piece in the contest. Freshman forward Laimonas Chatkevicius registered nine points and five boards, both career highs.

Senior guard Eric Smith tied a career-high with seven assists. Senior guard LaShay Page did not play in the contest due to a stomach virus.

The Dolphins were led by freshman guard Marcellous Bell with 17 points. Freshman guard Jarvis Haywood added 13 and junior guard Keith McDougald scored 12. Senior forward Glenn Powell brought in a team-high and game-leading nine rebounds to go along with his nine points.

After Jacksonville scored the first basket of the game, South Carolina responded with 11 unanswered points to take an 11-2 lead. The Dolphins pulled within six at 16-10, but would not get closer.

With eight minutes to go in the first half, Jacksonville was forced to call a timeout when Williams hit back-to-back 3s to give the Gamecocks a 14-point advantage at 35-21. South Carolina forced the Dolphins to take another timeout when Chatkevicus hit a shot from beyond the arc to extend the lead to 17 at 42-25.

The Gamecocks went into the locker room with a 57-30 upper hand.

South Carolina only missed one 3-point shot in the first half, shooting 85.7%, going 7-for-8 before the break. After committing five turnovers before the first media timeout, the Gamecocks did not register one for the remaining 15:41 of the first half.

The Gamecocks continued to push out of the break, making their first two 3-point attempts. A 3 by Richardson made the score 66-33 and extended the lead to the largest of the game at 33 with 16:36 remaining.

Seven late points from Bell helped pull Jacksonville to within 17 at the end of the game, but the Gamecocks cruised to the 91-74 victory.

The Gamecocks will be back in action after a 12-day layoff for exams on Wed., Dec. 19, at 5pm in a home non-conference game against Appalachian State. Following the men’s game, the South Carolina women’s basketball team will take on Stanford at 7:30. Both match ups are scheduled to be televised on SportSouth.

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