Nov. 8, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina men’s basketball team held its lone exhibition game of the 2015-16 season on Sunday at Colonial Life Arena, posting a 71-43 win over Allen University. The Gamecocks jumped out to an early 17-4 lead thanks to a strong defensive effort, which held Allen scoreless for the first 5:59 of the contest. The Gamecocks held a 36-21 advantage at the break, stretching the lead to 20 in the second half on their way to the win.
At halftime of the contest, both teams remained on the court and the nine victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting and their families were honored in a ceremony at mid-court. Nine people were killed during a Bible study session at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17, 2015.
Carolina jumped on the Yellow Jackets early, scoring the game’s first 12 points capped off by an Eric Cobb layup. Allen, however, wouldn’t go away, and a 3-pointer by Latroy Strong cut the lead to 27-19 with 6:03 to go in the half. The Gamecocks would regroup and close the half on a 9-2 run, holding Allen scoreless for the final 3:54 to establish their lead at the break.
A four-point play by junior guard Sindarius Thornwell early in the second half pushed the lead to 20 and the Gamecocks never looked back. South Carolina forced 21 Allen turnovers and held the Yellow Jackets to 27.1 percent from the floor. Carolina also dominated the boards 69-28, with three Gamecocks pulling down double-figure rebounds, led by Cobb’s 14.
Thornwell led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, while senior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius notched a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Cobb added eight points and Marcus Stroman dished out five assists to lead the team.
South Carolina went on a 15-6 run from the 3:54 mark of the first half to the 15:04 mark of the second half to secure a 20-point lead at 47-27.
Led by three Gamecocks in doubles figure rebounds, Carolina dominated Allen on the glass, 69-28. Freshman forward Eric Cobb pulled down a game high 14 rebounds, while senior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius collected 13 and freshman forward Chris Silva had 10.
- Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell led all scorers with 17 points, while he also collected three rebounds
- The Gamecocks held Allen to just 27.1 percent from the field
- The meeting was the first all time between the two schools
South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin, opening statement
Before I talk about the game tonight first I want to address the unfortunate situation last night with one of our on-campus police officers and the police officer from the city that passed away. Our prayers are with both of their families obviously. And we are very fortunate that we have great, great members of the police department that make this community so safe. I’ve lived in a lot of communities and they make this a very safe community for us to be able to raise our children and thoughts go out to both of them.
The game pretty much went how I expected. We played real hard, our guys have been great in practice, in regards to their enthusiasm, their energy, their defensive principles, things that we are usually not that good at this early in the year, we’re actually pretty good at this year. Where we’re at on the floor defensively, we attempted to take more charges on the floor tonight I think than we have in my previous three years combined and that says a lot about the kind of guys that are on our team. That’s a missing part that we’ve had on our defense.
South Carolina officially begins the 2015-16 season next Saturday, Nov. 14, hosting Norfolk State as part of the Paradise Jam. Game time for the non-conference matchup is set for 7 p.m. ET at Colonial Life Arena. The meeting between the Gamecocks and Spartans will be the first all-time between the two schools.
Tweet of the Game
Feels good to be back at the CLA!!! Ready to watch some Gamecock basketball! Let’s go @GamecockMBB!
— Adam Bonifas (@ABonifas10) November 8, 2015