Jackson leads South Carolina past Eastern Michigan, 74-64
Freshman sensation scored a career-high 24 points, his fifth 20-point game of the season
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gregory Jackson II threw down three dunks in the first half and knocked down four 3-pointers in the second to score a career-high 24 points and help South Carolina power its way past Eastern Michigan, 74-64 on Friday night.
The game featured a pair of highly rated recruits. Jackson, originally the top-rated recruit in the Class of 2023 before reclassifying himself and committing to South Carolina for the 2022-23 season, finished with a career-high 24 points. Sophomore Emoni Bates, the No. 3 recruit from the Class of 2021 who played at Memphis as a freshman, hit 8 of 15 from 3-point range and posted a career-high 36 points to lead Eastern Michigan.
Jackson, who turned 18 years old December 17 and is the highest-rated recruit in program history, was 9 of 19 from the field and hit 4 of 9 from beyond the arc while pulling down nine rebounds.
South Carolina built a 10-point lead in the first half and held a 40-30 advantage at intermission.
Chico Carter Jr. had 15 points for the Gamecocks (7-6). Meechie Johnson added 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Eastern Michigan had trouble finding offense outside of Bates, who shot 13 of 25 from the field, including 8 of 15 from distance, and was the only player to reach double-figure scoring. As a team the Eagles were 25 of 63 from the field (39.7%).
- The Gamecocks had their best first half of the season, scoring 40 points and shooting 54.8 percent (17-for-31) in helping build a double digit lead.
- Carolina was also very effective on the glass with a 46-30 edge in the rebounding column.
- Gregory “GG” Jackson II scored a career-high 24 points in 30 minutes. He was just shy of his second-straight double-double, finishing with a team-high nine rebounds. Jackson is the only freshman in the country to score in double-figures in every game this season.
- Four more players had six rebounds for the Gamecocks: Meechie Johnson, Hayden Brown, Jacobi Wright and Zachary Davis (career high for the freshman).
- Chico Carter Jr. was an efficient 6-of-7 from the floor en route to scoring 15 points. He is 28-of-55 from behind the arc this season, good for a team-best 50.9 percent from distance.
- Meechie Johnson had 10 points to extend his double-figure scoring streak to six games.
The Gamecocks hit the road for the start of conference play on Tuesday night at Vanderbilt (7-6). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) on SEC Network. Roy Philpott (pxp) and Mark Wise (analyst) will be on the call for the SEC opener at Memorial Gym.