South Carolina (5-2) fell to St. John's (5-2) 89-65 in the 2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge on Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena. Freshman forward Michael Carrera registered his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Gamecocks.
Junior guard Brenton Williams was injured in the contest. He suffered a neck injury and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. He did have movement of his arms and legs on the court. An update will be released when available.
Before his injury, Williams scored 10 points in the matchup. Freshman forward Mindaugas Kacinas scored nine and added six rebounds. Senior forward Lakeem Jackson also came down with six boards for the Gamecocks.
Junior guard Bruce Ellington and freshman forward Laimonas Chatkevicius both made their first appearance of the season in the contest.
St. John's had four players in double figures. Sophomore guard D'Angelo Harrison led the way with a game-high 26 points. Sophomore guards Amir Garrett and Phil Greene IV tallied 15 and 13 points, respectively. Freshman forward JaKarr Sampson registered 11. Garrett also brought down 11 rebounds to lead SJU.
South Carolina struggled from the floor in the opening half, hitting just 37.5 percent (12-32) compared to 53 percent (14-26) from the Red Storm. St. John's would make 9-of-14 from the free throw line in the opening set, while the Gamecocks had zero attempts in the half.
The teams traded possessions early and a jumper from Williams with 13:31 remaining before half saw the St. John's lead at just one at 12-11.
The Red Storm would answer with eight unanswered points through the 10:50 mark, before a jumper from Chatkevicius halted the stretch.
Two made attempts from the line by SJU freshman guard Felix Balamou put the lead at 32-17, before a 3 from junior guard Eric Smith brought Carolina with 12 at 32-20 with 2:56 on the clock.
Three made baskets from Carolina brought the contest back to 12 points at halftime, with St. John's holding a 38-26 advantage.
Carolina took its first foul shots of the game two minutes into the second half when an intentional foul was called on St. John's. Carrera hit both attempts to put the score at 45-32 SJU after early baskets from both teams.
Williams would hit back-to-back 3s just before the first media timeout of the second half to put the score at 50-40 with 16 on the clock.
The injury to Williams occurred with just over 10 minutes on the clock in the second half.
St. John's held its advantage after play resumed. The Gamecocks pulled to within 15 just after Williams' injury on two Carrera free throws, but the Red Storm pulled away to capture the win. St. John's held a 28-point upper hand, the largest of the game, with just over one minute remaining in the contest.
South Carolina returns to Columbia to host Clemson on Sunday, Dec. 2, at Noon ET. The game will be televised on ESPNU.