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Oct. 26, 2014

Final Stats | Quotes

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – In the first-ever meeting between South Carolina and Benedict College, the Gamecocks came away with a decisive 92-47 win in the exhibition contest at Colonial Life Arena. Senior point guard Tyrone Johnson led all scorers with 23 points and added six rebounds and six assists.

Benedict got on the scoreboard first with a jumper from forward Lafonzo Smith, but the Gamecocks stormed out to a 9-0 run ignited by the play of Johnson whose one-handed dunk started it. Three minutes later, a run-out led to Johnson lobbing the ball up to Thornwell for an emphatic alley-oop.

Just before the 13-minute mark, the Tigers closed to within six at 13-7 with a 3-pointer from guard Justin Peeples. The Gamecocks responded with six points from Notice and Johnson’s first 3-pointer of the game to start an 18-4 run over the next five-plus minutes to push the lead to 37-14 with 5:17 left on the clock.

Just as Benedict was able to get its deficit down to 17, Carolina ended the half on a 16-2 run with back-to-back 3-pointers coming from Johnson and Thornwell to go with six points from junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius. The Gamecocks took a 55-25 lead into the break after shooting 19-of-34 (55.9 percent) and holding the Tigers to only eight made field goals in the opening 20 minutes.

Carolina extended its lead to 39 nearly seven minutes into the second half after holding Benedict without a made field goal through the first seven-plus minutes of the set. The Gamecocks continued to build on their lead the rest of the way, ending the game with a 92-47 win.

Junior guard Austin Constable did not play in the exhibition contest due to a left knee injury, and sophomore guard Justin McKie did not play due to a concussion.

Game Changer:
Holding a 17-point lead with just under four minutes to play in the first half, South Carolina ended the half on a 16-2 run.

Key Stat:
In his first game action since suffering a foot injury on Jan. 15, 2014, senior point guard Tyrone Johnson totaled 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. He also added six rebounds and six assists in the effort.

• The matchup was the first time South Carolina and Benedict College have ever met.
• Senior point guard Tyrone Johnson led the Gamecocks in scoring with 23 points. Sophomores Demetrius Henry (15), Sindarius Thornwell (14), Duane Notice (10) and junior Laimonas Chatkevicius (10) also registered double-figures.
• Junior forward Michael Carrera led Carolina on the glass with 15 rebounds, while Chatkevicius added 12.
• Notice accounted for nine of Carolina’s 23 assists.
• Freshman guard Marcus Stroman scored five points and added three assists in his first action in a Gamecock uniform.
• The Gamecocks shot 32-of-64 (50.0 percent) from the field, while holding Benedict to only 13-of-69 (18.8 percent).
• Carolina out-rebounded the Tigers by 30, grabbing 61 total rebounds.

South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin
Opening statement
Real happy with our guys. I thought we played to the way we practiced. Guys were more mature, were stronger. Given the fact that we’ve practiced 13 times and in 13 practices we’ve only devoted three and a half to what we do defensively, it was good to see our guys playing through the disciplines that we teach. That’s what happens when you have experience on your team. You have guys that believe in the culture and they embrace it and they understand it. Then they go out and execute.

Up Next:
South Carolina opens up the regular season at Colonial Life Arena on Nov. 14 with North Florida. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., ET, and will broadcast on SEC Network+.

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