The South Carolina men's basketball team defeated the George Washington Revolutionaries 89-67 Friday night as it extends its season-opening win streak to seven games.
A second half offensive surge and a record-breaking 18 3-pointers ultimately helped the Gamecocks earn its second-biggest victory of the season.
The single-game 3-point record was not the only history South Carolina would make during the game, as the victory marked the eighth time that the team has began a season with a 7-0 start or better. The last time the Gamecocks stayed undefeated through this many games was during the 2016-17 season, which ended with a Final Four appearance.
Graduate student guard Ta'Lon Cooper said the team has its eyes set on making the tournament for the first time since that season.
"Everybody got a goal, and that's to make it to March Madness," Cooper said. "We're going to do whatever it takes to get there."
South Carolina set the tone early by jumping out to an early 8-1 in the first three minutes of the game. This offensive dominance would continue for the Gamecocks, who would go on to shoot 16-31 from the field and 8-16 from 3-point range in the first half.
The Revolutionaries went on several extended scoring runs to cut into South Carolina's lead throughout the first half, bringing the deficit as low as 4 points during the opening 20 minutes.
But the Gamecocks struggled rebounding in the period. George Washington won the overall rebound battle in the first half by seven and had six more offensive rebounds than South Carolina.
The Revolutionaries turned these rebounds into second chance points and shot efficiently from 3-point range, which helped keep the deficit at the halfway point to just 10 points.
South Carolina began the second half just 3-12 from the field but would eventually find their footing with junior guard Meechie Johnson and graduate student forward B.J. Mack. Both players would finish the game with at least 20 points — Johnson led both teams with 24 points, while Mack totaled exactly 20.
The dynamic duo would rally the Gamecocks to score a season high 89 points and set a program record for most 3-pointers made in a single game. Mack said the team's chemistry and confidence helped it perform effectively on offense.
"Just seeing everybody put in the work to be able to shoot and know that we all have faith in each other. When a shot goes up, we know it's going to go in. You've got to have that confidence," Mack said.
Head coach Lamont Paris said he was also proud of the team's ability to take care of the basketball, as it finished the game with 19 assists to only three turnovers.
"You play a whole game with only three turnovers. There's something really, really special about the ability to do that," Paris said.
Paris also said South Carolina's excelled on defense as it forced 10 turnovers from the Revolutionaries, which directly translated into 14 points.
"It was just a fun game," Paris said. "The guys did a really good job defensively, and then, obviously, we made some shots, too."
The Gamecocks (7-0) will head on the road to play rival Clemson (6-0) this Wednesday at the Littlejohn Coliseum. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. and be broadcasted on the ACC Network.