Western Carolina vs South Carolina

South Carolina 75, W. Carolina 50

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Freshman Anthony Gill scored 14 points in his debut to lead South Carolina to a 72-50 win over Western Carolina on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

South Carolina leaned on its newcomers of Gill and junior college transfer Brenton Williams, who added 13 points. All 10 Gamecocks who played also scored.

The Gamecocks made 30-of-59 shots, the first time they have shot better than 50 percent in 17 games.

Western Carolina turned the ball over 19 times. Trey Sumler and Harouna Mutombo each led the Catamounts with 11 points.

South Carolina started off missing six of its first seven shots, but the Gamecocks didn't struggle much after that. South Carolina started pressing Western Carolina about midway through the first half, leading to two quick buckets by Williams and a time-out from the Catamounts, who won their division in the Southern Conference last season.

Western Carolina then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 16 with nine minutes left in the first half, but the Gamecocks finished the half on a 19-9 run.

By the second half, it was highlight time for the Gamecocks. Gill had an alley-oop that turned into a layup that put South Carolina up 63-40 with 6:26 to go. Brian Richardson brought the sparse crowd to its feet with a one-handed jam with 4:45 left that put the Gamecocks up by 24 points.

South Carolina got plenty of help from everyone. Nine of the 10 players who played at least 10 minutes scored as coach Darrin Horn shifted line-ups and wasn't afraid to substitute out his entire team. The Gamecocks bench scored 38 points.

South Carolina won its 11th straight opener, while Western Carolina fell to 0-8 against the Gamecocks. Western Carolina coach Larry Hunter was denied his 600th career win.

The Gamecocks went 14-16 last season, losing nine of their last 10. Then came an offseason full of turmoil. Leading scorer Bruce Ellington decided to moonlight on the football field, meaning he'd miss several games.

Expected starter Murphy Holloway transferred away without ever taking the court. South Carolina was picked to finish last in the Southeastern Conference.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Western Carolina (0-1)252550
South Carolina (1-0) «354075

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Western Carolina Catamounts
T. King, F292-50-12154
P. Ross, F120-21-20011
T. Sumler, G352-55-644211
H. Mutombo, G304-93-581211
B. Boggs, G283-80-03127
K. Cole283-90-01308
T. Tankelewicz142-51-24016
I. Hollis100-10-01020
S. Smithson60-20-01010
K. Hall40-00-01010
J. Sinclair31-10-00002
D. Dunford10-00-00000
Totals 17-4710-1629101750
 36.2%62.5% 
South Carolina Gamecocks
M. Cooke, F233-84-671010
A. Gill, F236-71-241214
D. Harris, F191-41-21043
D. Leonard, G222-100-01015
L. Jackson, G212-41-110525
R. Slawson213-41-23137
B. Richardson192-40-01115
E. Smith194-60-20409
B. Williams175-82-221113
C. Geathers162-40-06004
Totals 30-5910-1737141475
 50.8%58.8% 
Southern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wofford16-228-747
Chattanooga15-322-10112
Mercer12-619-16212
W. Carolina9-915-17221
ETSU8-1016-14192
VMI7-1111-19287
Samford6-1213-19305
Citadel6-1211-19327
UNC-Green.6-1211-22309
Furman5-1311-22293

Southeastern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Kentucky18-038-11
Arkansas13-527-920
LSU11-722-1157
Georgia11-721-1238
Texas A&M11-721-1267
Ole Miss11-721-1360
Vanderbilt9-921-14104
Alabama8-1019-1585
Florida8-1016-1772
Tennessee7-1116-1696
S. Carolina6-1217-1691
Miss. State6-1213-19216
Auburn4-1415-20128
Missouri3-159-23218
 
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