South Carolina stumbles but races past Limestone College
After a sluggish start, South Carolina closed the first half with a 20-2 run and cruised to a 74-45 win over Division II Limestone College on Wednesday afternoon in Columbia, S.C.
Frank Booker, who was 4-for-6 from 3-point range in the first half, led the Gamecocks with 17 points. David Beatty had a career-high 16 points for South Carolina (9-3, which opens SEC play on Sunday at Ole Miss.
Kenny Hairston led the Saints (6-8) with 14 points, and T.J. Sheppard, who leads Limestone in scoring averaging more than 20 points per game, added 12 points.
The Gamecocks outscored the Saints, who made 1 of 9 shots to start the second half, 33-3 over a 10-minute stretch that spanned halftime.
South Carolina missed 17 of its first 22 field-goal attempts and trailed by nine before coming alive.
The Gamecocks scored 15 straight points to take a 29-23 lead 1:31 before halftime.
Limestone (6-8), which led for most of the first half, went five minutes without scoring as its lead evaporated.
The Gamecocks had a 34-8 advantage in points in the paint. They had 14 assists to the Saints’ four.
The Saints had a 10-0 run over a five-minute stretch and led 23-14 with 6:09 to go. The Gamecocks missed seven straight shots during Limestone’s run.
Chris Silva, South Carolina’s leading scorer, played just four minutes in the opening half after picking up two early fouls. He finished with four points.
Limestone was just 13-for-29 from the free-throw line and shot 25 percent from the floor.