GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — B.J. Mack hit four 3-pointers and scored 27 points — 21 in the second half — to help South Carolina beat Grand Canyon 75-68 Sunday to win the Cactus Division at the Arizona Tip-Off.
Mack made 7 of 12 from the field and 9 of 9 from the free-throw line. Myles Stute scored 12 points and Jacobi Wright added 10 — including two baskets in the final 2-plus minutes — on 4-of-5 shooting for South Carolina (5-0).
Gabe McGlothan made two free throws to open the scoring in the second half and give Grand Canyon a 31-30 lead but Mack answered with a 3-pointer that gave South Carolina the lead for good with 19:29 to play and the Lopes trailed the rest of the way.
Mack made a layup and then hit two free throws to stretch the lead to 54-43 midway through the second half but Collin Moore hit a 3-pointer to spark a 14-5 that trimmed Grand Canyon’s deficit to two points with 5:32 remaining. Mack hit a 3-pointer and made three free throws after he was fouled on another 3-point shot to make it 67-58 with 4 minutes to go.
McGlothan led Grand Canyon (3-1) with 18 points, Tyon Grant-Foster scored 16, Moore 15 and Ray Harrison added 12.
South Carolina returns home to play Notre Dame on Nov. 28. Grand Canyon plays host to North Dakota State on Saturday.
- After nine turnovers in the opening half, South Carolina had just one in the second half to go along with eight assists, four of which came from Ta’Lon Cooper.
- J. Mack’s 27 points were one shy of tying a career high. He was 4-of-7 from downtown, scoring 21 points in the second half while going a perfect 9-for-9 at the free throw line in the game.
- After a tough night at the charity stripe against DePaul in the semifinals on Friday, the Gamecocks responded with a 14-of-16 evening tonight at the line, good for 87.5 percent.
- Mack was named MVP of the Arizona Tip-Off and he was joined on the all-tournament team by Meechie Johnson. Johnson had nine points, six rebounds and two assists against the Lopes. He led Carolina with 24 points in the team’s opening game at Desert Diamond Arena against DePaul.
- The victory tonight was the first ever for the program over Grand Canyon.
- Ta’Lon Cooper had his fourth game of the season with five or more assists. It’s the 65th time he’s had five or more helpers in his college career.
- Jacobi Wright was a major factor again off the bench this evening, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He made a pivotal layup with 46 seconds to go and another tough, fadeaway jumper with 2:01 on the clock.
The Gamecocks return home Monday from the Valley of the Sun and will have the week of Thanksgiving off from games. Carolina returns to action against Notre Dame on Nov. 28 at CLA in the ACC/SEC Challenge. Tom Hart (pxp) and Dane Bradshaw (analyst) will have the call for the 7 p.m. (ET) SEC Network broadcast.