COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jermaine Couisnard scored 14 points and made seven assists, Wildens Leveque also scored 14 points with eight rebounds and South Carolina defeated USC-Upstate 78-60 Tuesday night.
Bryson Mozone scored 20 points and Jalen Brazeale added 17 to lead USC-Upstate, which was outrebounded 52-34.
The Spartans made a run early. Mozone hit a 3-pointer, lifting USC-Upstate into a 6-4 lead, and added two more from distance as he and Jordan Gainey scored 16 points to fashion a 17-8 lead by 12:59 of the first half.
The lead lasted for less than two minutes as South Carolina reeled off the next 10 points, controlling the offensive glass to keep possession.
The larger, stronger Gamecocks were never in jeopardy the rest of the way. They scored 20 points off 20 Upstate turnovers and dominated the offensive glass, 17-3.
The Gamecocks are 84-30 in season openers, rebounding from last season’s season-opening loss to Liberty.
> South Carolina was dominate on the glass and inside as it held a 17-3 advantage in offensive rebounds and a 42-20 edge with points in the paint.
> Graduate transfers James Reese V and Erik Stevenson combined for 18 points in their Gamecock debuts. They each started for Carolina as well as LSU transfer Josh Gray. He had eight points and eight rebounds of 26 minutes.
> Freshmen Devin Carter, Ta’Quan Woodley and Jacobi Wright also made their debuts in Garnet and Black. Woodley led the way with eight points and five rebounds in 13 minutes.
> Wildens Leveque matched his career high with 14 points.
South Carolina travels to Asheville for weekend action in the Asheville Championship. Carolina will face Princeton on Friday evening in a 9:30 PM contest, before facing either Western Kentucky or Minnesota on Sunday. Mark Neely (pxp) and Robbie Hummel (analyst) will have the weekend call on the ESPN family of networks.