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South Carolina takes care of Elon to improve to 11-1

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Ta’Lon Cooper hit four 3-pointers and scored a season-high 20 points to lead the charge for South Carolina in a 70-43 win over Elon Friday in Columbia, S.C.

The Gamecocks (11-1), off to one of their best starts in program history, won their fourth consecutive game despite not having leading scorer Meechie Johnson available.

Johnson, averaging 18.3 points per game, was ruled out with a right knee injury and is day-to-day.

But others stepped up. Myles Stute scored 11 while Jacobi Wright and Collin Murray-Boyles finished with 10 apiece to help South Carolina improve to 7-0 at home against nonconference opponents.

Elon (6-6) was looking for its third win over South Carolina in five meetings between the two schools, but only Sam Sherry (12) and preseason All-CAA pick Max Mackinnon (11) scored in double figures.

It took the Gamecocks nearly four minutes to make their first field goal as Cooper drilled a 3-pointer with 16:21 left to cut the Phoenix lead to 5-4.

Zachary Davis’ 3-pointer with 14:04 remaining in the half gave South Carolina its first lead of the day at 9-7.

A defensive struggle most of the half, South Carolina heated up late in the action, using a 9-0 run capped by Wright’s jumper and layup for a 28-18 advantage. The Gamecocks connected on four straight attempts from the field during the spurt.

Elon had a hard time overcoming it, shooting 26.7 percent from the floor in the first half and making only one shot in the final 5:42 as it trailed South Carolina 30-20 at halftime.

Cooper pushed the South Carolina lead to 33-20 off a 3-pointer with 18:11 to go in the second half.

Stute’s three-point play gave South Carolina its first 20-point lead at 48-28 with 10:06 left. The Gamecocks led by 27 twice on their way to an easy win.

South Carolina outshot Elon 41.3 percent (26-of-63) to 32 percent (16-of-50) overall.

–Field Level Media

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