B.J. Mack recorded 17 points, 13 rebounds and three steals to help South Carolina notch a 74-64 victory over VMI on Monday night in nonconference play at Columbia S.C.
Meechie Johnson scored 13 points despite 4-of-16 shooting as South Carolina achieved its first 3-0 start since the 2019-20 campaign. Myles Stute added 10 points for the Gamecocks.
Tyran Cook registered 16 points and three steals and DJ Nussbaum tallied a career-high 14 points for the Keydets (1-2). Koree Cotton added 10 points for VMI.
The Gamecocks shot just 35.2 percent from the field, including 7 of 23 from 3-point range.
The Keydets made 42.4 percent of their shot attempts and were 4 of 13 from behind the arc. Taeshaud Jackson grabbed 11 rebounds for VMI.
South Carolina held an eight-point halftime advantage before Johnson, Mack and Stephen Clark made baskets to open the second half to push the lead to 47-33 with 17:34 remaining in the game.
VMI crept within nine on a basket by Cook before the Gamecocks went on a 10-2 burst. Jacobi Wright capped it with a 3-pointer to give South Carolina a 57-40 advantage with 13:48 left.
Wright later buried another trey to make it 68-52 with 4:10 left before the Keydets scored 10 of the next 12 points. Cotton hit a 3-pointer to bring VMI within 70-60 with 2:31 to play and Cook hit a step-back jumper to make it an eight-point margin with 1:34 left.
But Mack’s basket 22 seconds later short-circuited the Keydets’ charge as the Gamecocks closed it out.
Mack scored eight first-half points as South Carolina led 41-33 at the break. Nussbaum scored 10 in the half for VMI.
The Gamecocks scored the first six points of the contest before the Keydets answered with a 14-5 run. Nussbaum’s layup punctuated it to give VMI a three-point lead with 9:51 left in the first half.
South Carolina responded with a 14-2 push. Mack finished it with a trey to give the Gamecocks a 25-16 lead with 6:08 left in the half.
South Carolina’s lead reached 14 when Morris Ugusuk connected on a 3-pointer to make it 39-25 with 3:21 remaining.
–Field Level Media
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