South Carolina cruises past Jacksonville
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Michael Carrera scored 17 points and Brian Richardson added a season-high 16 as South Carolina snapped a two-game losing streak with a 91-74 victory over Jacksonville Friday night.
The Gamecocks led 57-30 at halftime behind 13 points apiece for Richardson and Carrera. South Carolina (6-3) shot 71.9 percent (23 of 32) from the field and made 6 of 7 3-pointers for its highest scoring half in 69 games.
The Gamecocks were coming off a loss to Clemson on Sunday in which they scored 55 points in the game and had averaged only 60 points over the two-game skid.
Bruce Ellington, who was playing in his third game since coming over from football, and Brenton Williams chipped in with 12 points apiece.
Marcellous Bell led Jacksonville (4-6) with 17 points, with Jarvis Haywood adding 13 and Keith McDougald 12.
The Dolphins scored the opening basket of the game but it was all South Carolina the remainder of the half. The Gamecocks went on an 11-2 run over the next 4 minutes to take an 11-4 lead. They went the final 15 minutes of the first half without a turnover and knocked down 19 of 27 shots.
Leading 29-18, Williams started a 28-12 finish to the half with consecutive 3-pointers with about 8 minutes remaining to put the Gamecocks firmly in control. Things were going so well, even 6-foot-11 Laimonas Chatkevicius hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock was winding down.
The South Carolina lead grew to as many as 33 points in the second half as the Gamecocks were able to substitute liberally. Carrera added nine rebounds and Eric Smith tied his career-high with seven assists.
South Carolina’s shooting cooled off in the second half to 8 of 24 but the lead was too much for the Dolphins to overcome. The closest Jacksonville got in the second half was the 17-point margin at the final buzzer when South Carolina had three walk-ons on the floor.