The South Carolina men's basketball team (8-3) earned a 63-57 victory over Manhattan (3-7) on Saturday night in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Junior guard Brenton Williams led a trio of Gamecocks in double-figures with 17 points in the win.
Freshman forward Michael Carrera tallied 13 on the night and junior guard Brian Richardson added 12 from the bench for the Gamecocks. Senior forward Lakeem Jackson came down with a game-high 11 rebounds as South Carolina out-rebounded Manhattan 31-21 on the night.
Three Jaspers registered double figures in the contest. Freshman forward Shane Richards scored a game-best 18 points off the bench while sophomore guard Donovan Kates added 13 and junior forward Rhamel Brown totaled 10. Brown also led Manhattan with nine boards.
Two early 3s from Williams and a lay-up and 3 from Carrera saw the Gamecocks hold an 11-3 upperhand with 16:25 on the clock in the opening half, which forced a timeout for the Jaspers. Manhattan responded out of the break, battling back with solid play underneath the basket with layups from senior forward Roberto Colonette, senior guard Mohamed Koita and sophomore forward Emmy Andujar to near the score at 13-10 at the first media timeout of the contest.
The teams traded baskets through the midway point of the half before a 3 from Manhattan's Richards tied the contest at 16 with just over 11 minutes to go.
Richards sank another 3 with 10:18 on the clock for a 21-18 Jaspers lead, but Jackson and junior forward RJ Slawson connected on lay-ups through the seven-minute mark to give the Gamecocks a 22-21 lead.
The contest was close for the next several minutes, but consecutive 3s from Richardson with just over two minutes remaining in the half paced a 9-3 Carolina run through the last 2:37 of the half, which saw the Gamecocks take a 36-30 upperhand into the locker room at the break.
Manhattan used a 6-2 run through the first four minutes of the second half to pull within two at 38-36 with 15:55 on the clock.
Slawson connected for a free throw near the 13-minute mark which began a 9-0 run for the Gamecocks, including two free throws from Williams following a called technical foul on the Manhattan bench. A three-point play from Richardson capped the run, which saw the Gamecocks hold a 48-41 advantage at the mid-point of the half.
Williams pushed the lead to 55-47 with 7:48 on the clock and added a 3 minutes later for a 58-49 Gamecocks advantage.
Brown hit two layups to follow and the score stood at 58-51 with 3:31 on the clock. Jackson gave Carolina 60 with a lay-up, but Richards sank his sixth 3 of the contest with 2:06 remaining at the opposite end to pull the Jaspers within six at 60-54.
Koita sank a 3 with just over one minute to go, pulling Manhattan within 3, but solid play through the final minutes saw the Gamecocks escape with a 63-57 victory.
South Carolina will host Presbyterian at 1 p.m. on Dec. 29 following the holiday break. The game will be televised on CSS.