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Meechie Johnson helps South Carolina slide past Winthrop


Meechie Johnson scored 20 points and South Carolina overcame some shoddy shooting to defeat visiting Winthrop 72-62, winning their third game in a row Tuesday night in Columbia, S.C.

Ta’Lon Cooper added 13 points, Myles Stute had 10 points and B.J. Mack supplied eight points with a team-high seven rebounds.

The Gamecocks (10-1) shot 39.7 percent from the field, including 6 of 26 on 3-pointers, with Johnson missing all five of his long-range launches. South Carolina made all 12 of its free throws.

Kelton Talford’s 20 points, K.J. Doucet’s 16 points and Alex Timmerman’s 13 points paced Winthrop (8-5), which lost its second game in a row following a four-game winning streak. The Eagles did a chuck of their scoring on 23-for-29 shooting on free throws, with Talford was 10 of 11.

That caught up to the Eagles when they went nearly six minutes without a field goal, and trailed 65-56 before they connected again from the floor after they had closed within two points. Just 18 seconds after the drought ended, Timmerman’s 3-pointer pulled Winthrop within six but there were just three minutes left.

Winthrop was within 33-31 in the first minute of the second half following Talford’s three-point play. But the Gamecocks stretched the margin, finally getting a double-figure lead with just over 13 minutes to play.

The Eagles scored 10 of the next 12 points, pulling within 52-50. That meant another challenging second half for the Gamecocks against a visitor from the Big South Conference after holding off Charleston Southern on Saturday.

South Carolina led 33-28 at halftime, holding the Eagles to 30.8-percent shooting from the field. The Gamecocks missed 23 of their shots, but rebounded 12 of those.

Johnson scored eight of South Carolina’s first 15 points, but he didn’t score again until the final minute of the first half.

The teams combined to shoot 6-for-24 on first-half 3-pointers.

–Field Level Media

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