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Nov. 27, 2015

Final Stats | USATSI Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif


Points: Laimonas Chatkevicius (17)

Rebounds: Chris Silva (7)

Assists: Sindarius Thornwell (6)

Steals: Carrera, Notice (3)

Blocks: Chris Silva (2)

Date Opponent Time/Result (TV)
11/30 Western Carolina (SEC Network) 7:00 p.m.
12/5 South Florida (SEC Network) 4:00 p.m.
12/15 Drexel (SEC Network +) 7:00 p.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s men’s basketball team would run its record to 6-0 Friday afternoon in its return to the Colonial Life Arena, pulling away from Lipscomb (3-5) by a score of 92-76. The Gamecocks could seemingly not miss from inside, and received double-digit scoring efforts from six different players.

Lipscomb entered the day with one of the most 3-point-reliant offenses in the country, and it would lean on that strength throughout the first half, ultimately making six in the first half. South Carolina would do what it does best too — get the ball inside and take advantage of a deep post rotation. The Gamecocks would score 34 points in the paint in the first half, with Mindaugas Kacinas (nine points) and Laimonas Chatkevicius (six points) converting 7-of-8 field goal attempts combined.

The game would be tied at 19-all through the first eight minutes of action, but the Gamecocks were able to get some breathing room behind a 7-0 run in just 36 seconds. A technical foul on the Bisons would be sandwiched by a missed shot and a turnover to enable the run. Carolina would enjoy a two-possession lead for the final 11 minutes of the half, ending on a 6-0 run to take its largest lead of the day before halftime, 51-40.

With the two offenses making 50 percent of their field goals in the half, it would be Carolina’s defense that would provide the difference. Turnovers forced by the backcourt players would lead to easy baskets in transition; four different Gamecock guards recorded two steals apiece in the first half and Lipscomb would ultimately turn the ball over 15 time in the 20-minute period. Those turnovers would directly lead to 16 points, 12 coming out of the fast break.

The Bisons made their first four field goals out of the intermission, and after a three-point play from Eli Pepper the visitors would cut the deficit to 62-57. The Gamecocks would hit the gas pedal again to keep a comfortable pace, taking a 9-0 run in the following three minutes to take their biggest lead so far. Lipscomb missed nine straight shots during Carolina’s run, and finished the game 9-of-36 from the field after 4-of-4 start.

A pass-first mentality continued to serve the Gamecocks in the second half, the team recorded assists on nine of the first ten field goals made after a first half where 14 of 23 field goals came with assists as well. Carolina’s lead would grow as large as 20 with five minutes to go, with a barrage from all over the court offensively. Six different players would score in double figures for the Gamecocks on the afternoon, led again by Chatkevicius (with 17). Lipscomb went scoreless for the final three minutes of regulation and finished the half shooting 32.5 percent compared to Carolina’s 53.8.


After allowing Lipscomb to convert on 6-of-11 3-point attempts in the first half, the Gamecocks shut down the Bison from deep, holding them to 29 percent on 7-of-24 attempts.


Carolina’s interior offense continued to impose its will Friday, scoring 54 points in the paint. The four main posts — Carrera, Chatkevicius, Kacinas and Silva — combined to make 21-of-27 field goal attempts and also accounted for 20 rebounds. The Gamecocks made 29-of-47 two-point field goals on the afternoon (78 percent).


The Gamecocks continue a four-game homestand, hosting Western Carolina on Monday night at 7 p.m. That contest will be broadcast on the SEC Network with Mike Morgan (pxp) and Andrew DeClercq (analyst) on the call. Carolina holds an 8-0 all-time record vs. Western Carolina, with seven of those victories in Columbia.


  • Frank Martin has never enjoyed a 6-0 start to a season in his career as a head coach, spanning his time at Kansas State and now at South Carolina.
  • The team’s 24 assists in the game were the most since the Gamecocks had 22 against Rider on Nov. 19, 2012.
  • This is the third-straight game where Carolina had five or more players score in double figures. It hadn’t had six since Dec. 30 of last season, against North Carolina A&T.
  • Carolina has shot 50 percent or better in three straight games and are averaging 89.7 points per game in that span.
  • Chris Silva played an impactful 18 minutes, recording 12 points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocks. The team was plus-23 in scoring while the freshman forward was on the court.
  • Four different guards would post five or more assists on the day, led by Sindarius Thornwell’s six. Thornwell has six or more assists in three games this season.