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Back on track, South Carolina begins homestand vs. Charleston Southern

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Having bounced back from its first loss of the season with a road win at East Carolina, South Carolina will begin a five-game homestand by hosting Charleston Southern on Saturday night in Columbia, S.C.

The Gamecocks (8-1) are coming off a 68-62 victory over the Pirates last weekend after their winning streak was snapped at seven games with a 72-67 defeat at then-No. 24 Clemson.

“I’ve thought we had a resilient group,” second-year coach Lamont Paris said via The State. “I guess this affirms that feeling, and just that we don’t get too flustered and we don’t get caught up in our emotions.”

Veteran Meechie Johnson and Vanderbilt transfer Myles Stute led the way against East Carolina with 15 points apiece. Wofford transfer B.J. Mack added 13 that included a key late 3-pointer.

They are the top three scorers for the Gamecocks for the season with Johnson averaging 18.4, Mack 15.6 and Stute 10.1. Ta’Lon Cooper, a grad transfer from Minnesota, is averaging 9.1 points and a team-leading 5.0 assists.

“One day it’s one guy and another day it’s another guy,” Paris said of his team’s versatility. “We’ve won making 18 3s and another game we’ve won making a lot of stops. So we’ve been able to do it in different ways.”

Charleston Southern (3-6) is coming off a 76-64 loss to North Alabama and has split two games since interim coach Saah Nimley took over for Barclay Radebaugh, who stepped down after 2-5 start that included a four-game losing streak.

Nimley won his first game 66-64 over South Carolina State to snap that skid, but the Bucs couldn’t keep up with North Alabama.

“We have to get these guys to give 40 minutes of effort,” Nimley said after the loss, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. “Tonight we had about 28 minutes. We need 40. Just have to keep working.”

Sophomore RJ Johnson has scored 48 points for the Bucs the last two games, including a career-high 27 in the loss to North Alabama.

–Field Level Media

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