Jackson II scores 18, South Carolina tops Presbyterian 68-57
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Freshman Gregory “GG” Jackson II scored 18 points, Meechie Johnson added 16 and South Carolina used a 14-0 run midway through the second half to pull away for a 68-57 win over Presbyterian on Sunday night.
Jackson has scored in double figures in each game as a member of the Gamecocks and went into the game leading the team in scoring (17.0 per game) and rebounding (7.5).
Jackson threw down a dunk with about 12 minutes remaining to spark the big run — including seven points by Hayden Brown — over the next 6 minutes that gave South Carolina a 55-44 lead. Marquis Barnett hit a 3-pointer that trimmed Presbyterian’s deficit to 63-55 with 2:41 left, but the Blue Hose got no closer.
Brown, a graduate transfer who scored 1,402 career points for The Citadel over five seasons, finished with 14 points — 11 in the second half — for South Carolina (5-4).
Winston Hill made 8 of 10 from the field and led Presbyterian (2-9) with 18 points and five assists. Terrell Ard Jr. added 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting.
South Carolina committed a season-low six turnovers.
Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk made back-to-back baskets before he blocked a shot by Ard that led to a fast-break dunk by Jackson to give South Carolina a 6-0 lead less than 90 seconds into the game.
Jackson and Johnson scored five points apiece — and each hit a 3-pointer — in a 10-3 spurt that made it 16-5 with 14 minutes left in the first half. Jackson made another 3 to give the Gamecocks a 13-point lead with 5 minutes before halftime but Presbyterian scored 11 straight points before a Jackson layup made it 37-33 at the break.
Owen McCormack hit a 3 and Trevon Reddish-Rhone followed with four consecutive points to open the second half — while South Carolina missed its first six shots — to give the Blue Hose their first lead of the game at 40-37 with 17 minutes to play.
A 14-2 second half run over 6:27 helped push South Carolina ahead for good after it trailed by three, 44-41, with 12:55 remaining in half two.
Gregory “GG” Jackson II led all scorers with 18 points on 50 percent shooting (6-for-12). He knocked down a pair of 3s and has now scored in double figures in every game for Carolina.
Meechie Johnson led South Carolina with four assists (just one turnover). He also had 16 points, 11 coming in the first half.
Josh Gray contributed key minutes off the bench and led the Gamecocks with seven rebounds, including three on the offensive end.
Hayden Brown joined Jackson and Johnson in double figures with 14 points, scoring 11 in the game’s final 20 minutes.
Carolina shot 49.1 percent from the field (27-for-55).
The Gamecock defense allowed just 25.0 percent shooting (3-for-12) from beyond the arc in the second half.
Carolina outscored Presbyterian 12-3 on second chance points.
Carolina hits the road for a midweek matchup at defending C-USA Champion UAB (7-2) on Dec. 14. The high scoring Blazers are led by the nation’s leading scoring in Jordan Walker, who averages 25.7 points per game. UAB is fourth nationally in scoring offense at 90.1 points per game.
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