COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — South Carolina opened its 2016-17 season with a 107-89 exhibition win over Newberry College on Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. Carolina shot 50.0 percent from the field in the game en route to its offensive outburst. Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell led all players with 34 points on 13-of-24 shooting. The Lancaster, S.C., native, recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds, which led the team. He also led the team with five assists and five blocks.
South Carolina jumped out to a 12-point lead in the first half with 11:23 left, but Newberry would keep the game competitive forcing 12 turnovers and knocking down 10 shots from deep. Thornwell led all scorers at the break with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He also led the team with five rebounds. Carolina shot 51.5 percent from the field as they headed to halftime with a 53-46 lead.
The Gamecocks opened the second half on a 29-11 run, building their lead to 81-57. Thornwell (10 points) and sophomore guard PJ Dozier (nine points) helped fuel the scoring outburst with 26 of those points. Dozier finished tied for second on the team with 17 points. Senior guard Duane Notice, last season’s SEC Sixth Man of the Year, also poured in 17 points. Notice was 4-for-9 from behind the arc.
Carolina’s defense ramped up in the second half holding Newberry to a 42.1 field goal percentage. The Gamecocks forced 21 turnovers in the game and out-rebounded the Wolves 52-33. Newberry, who looked to run all game with a smaller lineup, would finish the game with 39 attempts from three-point range.
With the win, South Carolina remains unbeaten in five career exhibition contests under the direction of Head Coach Frank Martin.
South Carolina trailed for just 0:12 seconds in the game when Newberry led by two with 15:39 left in the first half.
- 10 different Gamecocks saw action in today’s exhibition contest, all finding their way to the score column on the final stat sheet.
- Redshirt sophomore guard Hassani Gravett, freshman big man Khadim Gueye and freshman forward Maik Kotsar all made their Carolina debuts.
- Today’s game was the team’s first on the new floor at Colonial Life Arena.
- Carolina was aggressive defensively but played a clean game, only recording 11 personal fouls.
- Sophomore guard TeMarcus Blanton led all bench scorers with eight points. He also led all reserves with seven rebounds off the bench.