Dec. 28, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina continued its winning ways after the holiday break with a 57-45 win against in-state foe Wofford (7-6) Wednesday night at the Colonial Life Arena. Bruce Ellington scored a season high 17 points behind a 5-for-6 effort from beyond the arc to pace the Gamecocks (6-6).
Freshman Damien Leonard scored 14 points in 16 minutes of action courtesy of shooting 4-for-6 from 3-point range, and R.J. Slawson added two more 3’s as South Carolina had its best outside shooting effort of the season at 55 percent with 11 made 3-pointers.
Sophomore Damontre Harris tied his career high with five blocks. Anthony Gill led all players with eight rebounds on the night, seven on the defensive end.
Despite a first half disadvantage in rebounding with Wofford controlling a 19-9 edge on the boards in the opening 20 minutes, South Carolina used timely shooting from beyond the arc to build and reclaim the lead in the first half. Trailing 19-16 with five minutes remaining in the half, the Gamecocks closed out the break on a 13-2 run highlighted by three consecutive 3’s to race to a 29-21 halftime lead.
Wofford closed to within five points twice in the second half and threatened the match at 46-41 with 5:06 remaining, but Leonard and Ellington closed out the game on an 11-2 run to seal the victory. Leonard hit two consecutive 3’s followed by a third by Ellington before Leonard hit two free throws for the final points of the game.
South Carolina returns to the court Saturday with a home contest against USC Upstate. Tip-off is scheduled for noon at the Colonial Life Arena.