COLUMBIA, S.C. – (AP) B.J. Mack scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead South Carolina to a 74-64 victory over VMI on Monday night.
Mack, a 6-foot-8 forward transfer from Wofford, shot 5 of 11 from the floor and made 6 of 7 free throws. Meechie Johnson added 13 points and Myles Stute had 10 for South Carolina, which is 3-0 for the first time since the 2019-2020 season.
Mack scored five points and Stute added four during a 16-7 run to open the second half that stretched the Gamecocks’ lead to 57-40 with 13:48 to play. It was their largest lead of the game. Jacobi Wright, who finished with nine points, ended the surge with a 3-pointer.
VMI had a 10-2 run to pull to 70-62 with 1:34 left but couldn’t get closer.
South Carolina led for most of the first half and by as many 14 points, building a 41-33 advantage at the break. Mack scored eight points and Johnson chipped in seven in the first half.
- Graduate forward B.J. Mack had first double-double as a Gamecock, leading Carolina in scoring (17) and rebounds (13). Mack was an efficient 5-of-11 from the floor including 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
- Tonight marks the team’s first 3-0 start since the 2019-20 season (started 4-0). The previous best start was 9-0 during the 2016-17 season.
- Three Gamecocks scored in double figures: Mack (17), Meechie Johnson (13) and Myles Stute (10).
- The Gamecock defense forced 16 turnovers, including nine in the second half. Carolina generated 14 points off those turnovers.
- South Carolina snatched down 21 offensive rebounds and held a 44-40 advantage on the glass. Redshirt senior forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk grabbed seven of those boards, five coming in the second half.
- Graduate guard Ta’Lon Cooper dished out seven assists with no turnovers for the second straight game. He has 17 turnovers against just one turnover through three games this season.
The Gamecocks (3-0) are back in action Friday against Depaul (0-2) in the semifinals of the Arizona Tip-Off at Desert Diamond Arena. The game is slated to start at 11:30 p.m. (ET) on CBS Sports Network. Jack Benjamin (pxp) and Matt McCall (analyst) will be on the call for the late night matchup out west.