Allen Marcus Harter

Men's basketball opens season with win over Wofford

South Carolina took care of business against Wofford to open the season with a 73-52 win at Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Friday night.

South Carolina's play started off sloppily with four early turnovers, but the Gamecocks got hot from the 3-point line shortly after. Frank Booker, Justin Minaya and David Beatty all connected from beyond the arc to score the first nine points for the Gamecocks. 

The 3-point shot was a success all night. The Gamecocks finished the game shooting 11-for-23 from behind the arc. 

Fletcher Magee kept the Terriers within striking distance and gave his team a 12-11 lead. He connected with a made 3-point shot, just over 11 minutes in the half. Magee scored eight of the Terriers first 12 points. 

After an early back and forth battle, the Gamecocks retook the lead and never looked back. South Carolina went on a 9-0 run with the help of six straight points coming from Frank Booker and a 3-pointer from Felipe Haase.

Wofford made a run late in the first half to close the gap to three, but the Gamecocks found an answer to push the lead to nine going into the half.

South Carolina got off to a dominating start in the second half by going on an 12-0 run capped off by a 3-point shot from Hassani Gravett. The Gamecocks' excellent defense wore down the Terriers, and South Carolina was able to take advantage in the second half.

“I think we were really good defensively,” head coach Frank Martin said. 

South Carolina held Wofford to only 7-for-21 shooting in the second half after allowing 10-for-28 shooting in the first half. Magee, who scored 15 first half points, was held to two points and shot 1-for-6 in the second half.

Another key factor into the Gamecocks win was the depth of the South Carolina bench. The Gamecocks scored 28 points from the bench compared to five from Wofford. Haase and Wesley Myers both scored 10 points off the bench. 

Maik Kotsar led the team with 13 points and Booker also contributed 12 points. Chris Silva led the way defensively by ranking first on the team in rebounds, blocks and steals. 

“[It was a] great night for our guys, as we try to figure out who we are as a team this season,” Martin said. 

With Friday's win, the Gamecocks start the season 1-0 and return to action against Western Michigan for the first regular season home game at 8 p.m. on Monday. 

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