Hassani Gravett and A.J. Lawson each scored a game-high 18 points as South Carolina rebounded from an upset loss to beat visiting Norfolk State 81-64 on Tuesday night in the Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament.
The Gamecocks (2-1) were surprised by Stony Brook in an 83-81 loss on Friday, but a repeat of the upset was never a realistic possibility as they never trailed.
Justin Minaya added 10 points for the Gamecocks, who made 37.9 percent (11-of-29) of their 3-pointers after making just 22 percent coming in. They also showed improvement in rebounding, beating the Spartans on the boards (31-24) after being outrebounded by Stony Brook (49-33).
Nic Thomas scored 15 to lead the Spartans (2-2), who had wins against Mid-Atlantic Christian and Clarion after opening the season with a loss to Michigan in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, which concludes this weekend.
The Gamecocks had a 14-point halftime lead and they were off and running after Minaya made a 3-pointer to start the second-half scoring.
Minaya added another jumper and Gravett had a basket to increase the lead to 44-23.
Steven Whitley made two free throws to get NSU on the board, but Maik Kotsar and Gravett made layups to push the South Carolina lead to 49-27.
The lead grew to as many as 28 points before NSU started whittling away.
The Gamecocks got off to a fast start, scoring the first five points of the game and taking leads of 11-2 and 13-4 as Lawson made two of his team’s three 3-pointers.
South Carolina maintained a double-digit lead for most of the half. But Alex Long scored six points and C.J. Kelly scored five straight as the Spartans closed within 25-17.
Gravett scored four points as the Gamecocks rebuilt the lead to 35-20 before Mastadi Pitt answered with a 3-pointer.
Felipe Hasse made two free throws to complete the first-half scoring and send South Carolina into the locker room with a 37-23 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media