South Carolina (1-0) spoiled the debut of Wofford’s glittering Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium, a 3,400-seat arena funded by Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers and a Wofford alumnus.
Wofford (0-1) kept things tight most of the first half and trailed 25-22 on Derrick Brooks’ jumper with 3:15 left in the opening half. That’s when the Gamecocks took control with a 20-2 run that spanned both periods. Booker and fellow first-year player Wesley Myers had 3s in the run. When Hassani Gravett closed the surge with one more 3, South Carolina led 45-24.
Freshman Felipe Haase and graduate transfer Myers added 10 points each for the Gamecocks, who returned just two starters from the team that that made it to the program’s first Final Four a year ago. Chris Silva, along with Kotsar, the only starters back from the NCAA Tournament run, had nine points and a team-best 10 rebounds.
Fletcher Magee had 17 points, 15 in the opening half, to lead Wofford.
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South Carolina knocked down 11 3-pointers Friday night and held a 40-28 advantage on the glass.
- South Carolina improves to 62-37 when posting at least six made 3s under head coach Frank Martin. The Gamecocks improve to 81-34 when holding their opponents under 45 percent shooting from the field. Wofford was 17-for-49 (34.7 percent).
- Tonight marks Carolina’s 17-straight season-opening win dating back to the 2001-02 season. Martin is 11-0 in season-openers.
- The Gamecocks notched their first season-opening win on the road since defeating Western Carolina 87-62 on Nov. 12, 2005.
- Tonight’s game marks a stretch of five contests in 10 days for Carolina to start the 2017-18 season.
- Four players scored in double-figures for Carolina led by Maik Kotsar (13 points). Frank Booker (12), Felipe Haase (10) and Wesley Myers (10) joined Kotsar. All three players were making their debuts in Garnet and Black.
- Chris Silva, who was named to the Preseason Coaches All-SEC Second Team earlier today, pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Gamecocks. He led the team 17 times last season in rebounds. Silva scored nine points, just missing the sixth double-double of his career.
South Carolina will host Western Michigan on Monday, Nov. 13, in the home opener for the Gamecocks. Tip time for the matchup, which is a non-bracketed game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach, is set for 8 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. Prior to the contest, South Carolina will unveil its Final Four banner prior to tip-off. Fans should be in their seats by 7:45 p.m. for the ceremony.