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Nov. 23, 2015

Final Stats


Points: Mindaugas Kacinas (18)

Rebounds: Dozier, Thornwell (9)

Assists: Sindarius Thornwell (6)

Steals: Four with (1)

Blocks: Laimonas Chatkevicius (3)

Date Opponent Time/Result (TV)
11/23 vs. Tulsa (Paradise Jam Finale) 9:00 p.m.
11/27 Lipscomb 2:00 p.m.
11/30 Western Carolina 7:00 p.m.

ST. THOMAS, USVI — The South Carolina men’s basketball team found itself in a shootout Sunday night, taking on a veteran Hofstra team in the semifinal of the Paradise Jam. The Pride came in fresh off an upset of Florida State and gave the Gamecocks all they could handle, but a season-best performance from the Garnet and Black offense would be too much to account for in a 94-84 win. Carolina (4-0) would see all five of its starters score 12 points or more, and the interior offense was a strong point all night long.

Despite the 10:30 p.m. local time tip, the offenses would be wide-awake early on. The Gamecocks enjoyed a 6-of-10 start overall from the field, but The Pride (3-1) countered with four 3s in the first five minutes to take a 14-13 lead into the first media timeout. A 13-2 run for Carolina in the ensuing four minutes of action would open the game up to 26-16. Facing a size disadvantage, Hofstra would settle for 3s but would not be able to maintain its hot start. A four-minute scoring drought starting from the 14:27 mark would help dig the early hole.

Hofstra would not go quietly, rediscovering its range to hang in down the stretch in the first half. Guard Juan’ya Green connected on five of his first six 3-point attempts and accounted for 19 of the team’s first 32 points through the first 15 minutes of action. His fifth 3 brought the Gamecock lead down to six, 38-32. The lead would get all the way down to two, 41-39, but the Gamecocks scored the final five points of the half to take the 46-39 advantage into the break.

Mindaugas Kacinas would stay keyed in offensively, scoring 14 points in the first half to lead Carolina. Green would finish with 22 points for Hofstra. The Pride bombed in 18 3-point attempts in the first 20 minutes, hitting on eight. That long-distance commitment would hurt them inside, as the Gamecocks enjoyed a plus-10 rebounding margin and a 20-6 advantage in points in the paint.

During the halftime break, the lights in the UVI Sports & Fitness Center would malfunction due to a power surge, but the referees determined enough light was on the court to resume the game. Neither team would seem to mind, connecting on three shots apiece in the first three minutes of action. A pair of 3s from Ameen Tanksley would keep the first-half narrative alive for Hofstra, who attempted just five two-point field goals in the first eight minutes of the second half.

Hofstra would hit its sixth 3 of the first nine minutes of action to take just its second lead of the game at 65-64. The Pride would start 6-of-9, but a Duane Notice 3 would give Carolina the lead back. Despite the shower of 3s, Carolina weathered the storm with an efficient offense that saw contributions from all over the lineup. PJ Dozier would have his best game yet as a Gamecock, scoring seven of his season-best 12 points in the second half, including a perfect 3-3 from the field in the half. The freshman added nine rebounds as well.

A 3 from Brian Bernardi cut Carolina’s lead to 74-72 with seven minutes to play, but a 3 from Dozier and back-to-back scoring possessions from Chris Silva would help the Gamecocks extend back out to an 83-72 lead. It would ultimately be a 12-0 run for Carolina, as Hofstra would go 4:22 without a point to see its upset attempt wilt down the stretch. The Pride would kick up the pressure in the final two minutes of regulation, but a pair of dunks from Michael Carrera out of press-breaks would keep the game well out of reach.


After Hofstra cut the lead to two, 74-72, with seven minutes still to play in the game, but the Gamecocks held their opponents without a point for the next four minutes of play and used a 12-0 run to pull away late. Four different South Carolina players contributed scoring in the run.


For as good as Hofstra was from distance, Carolina was even better from inside the arc. The Gamecocks pulled down 18 more total rebounds, 12 more offensive rebounds and held a 44-18 advantage in points in the paint. The 12 offensive rebounds for the Gamecocks earned them a 24-9 advantage in second-chance points.


The team will go for the tournament title tomorrow night, taking on Tulsa in the finals of the Paradise Jam. The game is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m. ET. Tulsa defeated Indiana State in the early game Sunday evening to earn its place in the final and are 4-0 heading into Monday’s matchup.


  • Hofstra’s 17 threes set a new record for the program, beating the previous high of 15. The 17 3s are tied for the most ever allowed by the Gamecocks, tied with games against Charlotte (December 2000), Florida (February 1999) and Kentucky (January 1995).
  • Offensive rebounding remains a key to the team’s success. Carolina averages 18 offensive rebounds per game so far this season, and is enjoying a plus-12.5-point margin in second-chance points.
  • All five of the Carolina starters scored in double figures Sunday night. Michael Carrera (17), Sindarius Thornwell (14) and PJ Dozier (12) all scored season highs.
  • The offense shot at a 54.4 percent clip from the field, including 55.6 from 3-point range. It was the highest percentage for Carolina since the team went for 54.7 percent against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 30 of last season.
  • Despite the six lead changes over the course of the game, Hofstra would lead for just 36 seconds in total.