USC’s Ellington leads hoops win before football switch

Bruce Ellington and Damien Leonard came off the bench to score 17 and 14 points, respectively, as host South Carolina defeated Wofford 57-45 on Wednesday.

Ellington, who Thursday morning will fly to Orlando to join the South Carolina football team in preparation for the Capital One Bowl, was 5-of-6 on 3-point attempts, while Leonard knocked down 4-of-6 for the Gamecocks (6-6).

Wofford (7-6) got to within 41-37 when Karl Cochran got the last of his team-high 12 points on a 3-pointer before South Carolina’s leading scorer, Malik Cooke, scored his only points on a three-point play and Ellington followed with a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to nine with 7:10 left.

The Gamecocks came into the game 10th in the SEC in 3-point shooting, but were 6-of-12 from behind the arc as part of their 11-for-20 night.

Wofford took its largest lead of the game at 17-13 on a basket by Aerris Smith, but it was all Gamecocks over the final seven minutes. Ellington hit three 3-pointers and R.J. Slawson added another as part of a 16-4, half-ending run that sent the hosts into the locker room up 29-21.

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