Gamecocks Close Non-Conference Strong With 79-51 Win Against SC State|
Jan. 3, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina continued its dominance over in-state foe South Carolina State with a season high 79 points in a 79-51 victory Tuesday night at the Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks (8-6) improve to 18-0 all-time against the Bulldogs (4-10) and conclude non-conference play with four straight victories.
All 12 Gamecocks to play in the game scored with Malik Cooke and Damontre Harris leading the team with 11 points each. For the second straight game, RJ Slawson came slightly short of a double-double with his nine-point, nine-rebound effort to go along with career highs of three assists and three steals.
S.C. State freshman Luka Radovic led all scorers with 15 points, but the Gamecocks were able to limit the Bulldogs to 34.6 percent from the field, marking the best defensive effort of the season.
South Carolina raced out to a quick 20-point lead and never looked back. The Gamecocks used balanced scoring in the first half with seven players scoring at least four points and none hitting double-digits as the team coasted to a 45-23 halftime lead on the back of a 58.6 percent shooting effort. The team went 7-of-13 from beyond the arc, the most 3-pointers made in a single half this season, and scored 20 more points in the paint.
The Bulldogs never came closer than 18 points for the remainder of the game as South Carolina stretched its lead to as many as 30 with a 78-48 lead in the final two minutes of the game.
South Carolina begins SEC play Saturday when the team travels to Kentucky for a 4 p.m. matchup against the Wildcats. The road contest will end a six-game homestand for the Gamecocks who haven't played on the road since a 58-55 win at Clemson on December 4. Saturday's game will be televised live on the SEC Network.