COLUMBIA, SC - South Carolina kicked off the 2017-18 hoops season with an 85-44 exhibition win over NCAA Division II Erskine on Monday night at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks were balanced offensively, led by junior big man Chris Silva and his 15 points.
Carolina opened a 15-6 lead early in the game, holding the Flying Fleet to 25 percent shooting. A trio of 3-pointers, two by Hassani Gravett and one by Frank Booker, pushed the lead to 26-8 with 7:01 remaining in the first half. The Gamecocks' lead grew to 24 after two more treys by Booker made it 36-12 with 3:27 remaining in the first half.
Carolina went into the locker room up 46-18 after a dominant first 20 minutes on the defensive side of the ball. Erskine shot 21 percent in half one on 6-of-29 shooting. The Gamecocks cleaned up on the glass, with a 34-12 edge at the break. Freshman Felipe Haase led the way with 10 boards in the first half. Four of the team's five starters had seven or more points, led by Booker's nine.
The first 10 minutes of the second half went back-and-forth as Carolina led 65-31 after a 3-pointer by graduate transfer Wesley Myers with 11:56 to go. The Gamecocks' went on a 16-9 run over the next eight minutes to take an 81-40 lead with 3:27 left in the game. Just before the final media timeout, Ibrahim Famouke Doumbia flew down the lane and brought the crowd to its feet with a monster put-back dunk on a missed corner 3 by Haase.