COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Hayden Brown scored 21 points, freshman Gregory Jackson II had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his debut and South Carolina beat South Carolina State 80-77 on Tuesday night for the first victory for coach Lamont Paris.
S.C. State’s Davion Everett tipped in a miss with 4.5 seconds left to pull within 79-77, and the Bulldogs fouled Jacobi Wright, who made 1 of 2 free throws. South Carolina elected to foul Rakeim Gary in the backcourt and it paid off as he missed the first free throw and the second was waived off after a lane violation.
Wright added 14 points and Meechie Johnson, a transfer from Ohio State, scored nine points for South Carolina. Jackson, who was rated the country’s sixth-best college prospect by ESPN.com, was 7 of 15 from the field.
Lesown Hallums led South Carolina State with 20 points. Rahsaan Edwards added 13 points, Gary had 12 and Everett scored 11.
Paris, who spent the past five seasons coaching Chattanooga, leads a relatively new roster as eight players, including all five starters, departed.
South Carolina faces state rival Clemson on Nov. 11, then plays in the Charleston Classic, an in-state, eight-team tournament that also features ACC Tournament champion Virginia Tech and Penn State of the Big Ten.
- Hayden Brown, a graduate transfer from The Citadel, led all Carolina scorers with 21. He went 9-of-12 at the free throw line and 6-for-10 from the field.
- Three players scored in double figures for the Gamecocks: Brown (21), Gregory “GG” Jackson II (18) and Jacobi Wright (14), who led the team with four assists.
- Jackson led the team with 10 rebounds en route to a double-double his first game in Garnet & Black.
- The Gamecocks capitalized on 24 second chance points compared to just six for the Bulldogs. Carolina also held a 34-22 points in the paint edge.
South Carolina (1-0) remains home for a Palmetto Series matchup with in-state rival Clemson (1-0) on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. (ET). It’s just the second time in 171 all-time meetings the teams will play in Nov. The only previous meeting this month was Nov. 17, 2013 at Clemson. South Carolina leads the all-time series 91-80.