COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina defeated Columbia International, 87-50, in an exhibition contest Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena. Sophomore guard AJ Lawson led all scorers with 23 points and was one of four Gamecocks in double figures.
Carolina finished the game on a 19-3 run and held the Rams scoreless the last five minutes of regulation.
Freshman Jalyn McCreary had 15 points in 17 minutes of action off the bench. Senior Maik Kotsar and redshirt junior Jair Bolden each added 12. Sophomore big man Alanzo Frink, who started alongside Lawson, Bolden, Kotsar and junior Justin Minaya, nearly had a double-double. He finished with nine points and eight rebounds in just 13 minutes on the floor.
The Gamecocks quickly opened up a double-digit lead in the first five minutes of the game. Carolina then pushed the lead to 20 for the first time with 6:55 in to go in the opening half after a McCreary bucket inside and led, 46-23, at the break.
Defensively, the Gamecocks were stout, holding CIU to just 31 percent shooting (18-for-58). Carolina forced 21 turnovers and had 13 steals, helping lead to a 27-0 edge in fast break points. The Gamecocks also dominated inside with a 44-14 advantage in points in the paint.
Offensively, Carolina shot nearly 50 percent (31-of-65) and dished out 23 assists. Three players had five or more assists for the Gamecocks, led by Lawson (7).