Thornwell leads South Carolina to 69-45 win
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) Sindarius Thornwell scored 13 of his 14 points in the opening half as South Carolina built a double-digit lead and rolled to 69-45 victory over Cornell to close the opening round of the Charleston Classic on Thursday night.
Mindaugas Kacinas had 10 points and 10 rebounds for his third career double-double.
Thornwell's first of three 3-pointers in the opening period put South Carolina (2-1) ahead at 12-11 and started a 14-2 run to take control.
The Gamecocks kept up the pressure after halftime and led by as many as 28 points on Tyrone Johnson's 3-pointer.
JoJo Fallas had 11 points lead Cornell (2-2). Galal Cancer had 10 points - although he shot just 2 of 13 from the floor - and Shonn Miller, the Big Red's leading scorer this season at 16 points a game, was held to nine points on 2-of-6 shooting before fouling out.
Cornell, which already matched its win total from its 2-26 season a year ago, opened with a surprising win at George Mason before getting their second victory against Colgate on Tuesday. They started fast in trying for No. 3, leading 11-9 in the first five minutes.
But Thornwell followed with the first of his three 3-pointers in the opening half to put South Carolina ahead for good and start the game-changing run.
The Gamecocks kept their large margin the rest of the period, building to a 35-21 halftime lead on Thornwell's last three and two foul shots by Duane Notice.
South Carolina continued the onslaught in the second half, leading 58-30 with 9:40 to go.
The Gamecocks rebounded from a 69-65 home loss to Baylor on Tuesday.
Cornell: The Big Red only played South Carolina once before, an 83-60 loss in the opening round of the ECAC Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden in December 1970.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks reached the championship of the 2009 Charleston Classic, losing the title to Miami. The Hurricanes are also in this year's event and defeated Drexel 66-46 earlier Friday.
Cornell will play Penn State at the Charleston Classic on Friday.
South Carolina will play Charlotte at the Charleston Classic on Friday.