COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina doubled down on a season opening victory, claiming a 78-60 home win Monday night over Western Michigan in its second encounter.
The Gamecocks managed to get a bit of breathing room late in the first half, opening a nine-point lead at the break. They remained on top throughout the second half, gradually increasing the lead.
Despite its statistical dominance, South Carolina watched a 17-point lead cut to nine with 7:50 remaining. The Gamecocks had an answer for each Western Michigan run, however.
While the inside duo was responsible for obtaining the lead, point guard Hassani Gravett hit three late 3-pointers to allow South Carolina’s advantage to grow to as much as 19.
He led the Gamecocks in scoring with 15. Frank Booker followed with 14, while Silva and Kotsar each scored 10 and hauled in a combined 13 rebounds.
Western Michigan’s Thomas Wilder led all scorers with 21, earning most of his points driving to the basket. Bryce Moore and Josh Davis followed with 12 and 11 points respectively.
South Carolina shot 46 percent from the field (26-for-57) and knocked down nine 3s. The Gamecocks also posted a double-digit advantage on the glass (46-32) for the second consecutive contest.
- South Carolina improves to 63-37 when posting at least six made 3s under head coach Frank Martin. The Gamecocks improve to 82-34 when holding their opponents under 45 percent shooting from the field. Western Michigan was 21-for-58 (36 percent).
- Head coach Frank Martin and his team of won 17 of their last 20 games at Colonial Life Arena.
- The Gamecocks have won 14-straight in the month of November dating back to an 89-75 win over UNC Asheville on Nov. 26, 2014.
- Carolina held opponents to below 40 percent from the field 17 times in 2016-17. The Gamecocks have now held both Wofford and Western Michigan below that mark to start the 2017-18 campaign.
- Junior Chris Silva notched his sixth career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Silva has pulled down 20 boards in the team’s first two games of the season.
- Redshirt junior Hassani Gravett led the team with a career-high 15 points in just 19 minutes of action. He went 3-for-3 from deep setting a new career single-game high for made 3s. Gravett made two 3s five times during the 2016-17 season.
- Graduate transfer Frank Booker (14) and sophomore Maik Kotsar (10) joined Silva and Gravett in double figures Monday night.
South Carolina travels to the beach this week for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach. The Gamecocks open tourney action against Illinois State on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2. Other teams in the field include Appalachian State, Boise State, Iowa State, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Michigan. Games are set to be played at the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina. The Tournament was relocated due to the devastating impact that Hurricane Maria had on Puerto Rico.