COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Meechie Johnson scored a career-high 29 points and B.J. Mack scored 17 points and South Carolina used the second half to distance itself from Notre Dame and beat the Irish 65-53 on Tuesday night in an ACC/SEC Challenge contest.

South Carolina (6-0) is off to its best start since former coach Frank Martin took the program to the Final Four in 2017.

Johnson finished 9-for-15 shooting, Mack was 6 for 15 and the rest of the Gamecocks went 4 for 20. South Carolina made 38% (19 of 50) of its shot attempts.

Trae Davis scored 15 points, J.R. Konieczny 11 and Julian Roper II 10 for Notre Dame (3-3).

South Carolina capitalized on Notre Dame's 1-for-13 shooting stretch in the second half, and when Johnson made a pull-up bank shot in the lane, the Gamecocks reached their biggest lead to that point, 48-41, with 8:23 left. Less than a minute later, Johnson made a 3-pointer and the Gamecocks led by double figures for most of the remainder.

Braeden Shrewsberry gave Notre Dame its last lead at 40-38 with 14:14 left. South Carolina led 31-28 at halftime.

Notre Dame opens ACC play on Saturday traveling to No. 8 Miami.

South Carolina hosts George Washington on Friday.

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