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South Carolina tops Notre Dame behind Meechie Johnson


Meechie Johnson scored a career-high 29 points and B.J. Mack added 17 to lift South Carolina to a 65-53 victory against Notre Dame on Tuesday night in Columbia, S.C.

South Carolina (6-0) largely went as Johnson did in the ACC/SEC Challenge game. Mack's layup on a fastbreak with 12:13 to go gave the Gamecocks a 42-40 lead and was the team's first field goal by a player other than Johnson since there was 4:08 remaining before halftime.

Johnson went 9-for-15 from the floor, including 4-for-9 from long range. The Gamecocks shot 38 percent compared to 32.7 percent for the Fighting Irish.

After leading by as many as eight points early in the game, Notre Dame fell behind by 14 down the stretch. The Fighting Irish (3-3) struggled to 7-for-26 (26.9 percent) shooting in the second half, missing nine straight attempts from the field during one sequence.

Tae Davis (15 points), J.R. Konieczny (11) and Julian Roper II (10) all scored in double figures for the Fighting Irish. Davis grabbed a game-high eight rebounds as Notre Dame finished plus-four on the glass.

Ta'Lon Cooper scored nine points for South Carolina while matching Johnson for the team lead with five boards.

Fueled by 15 points by Johnson, the Gamecocks took a 31-28 lead into the break. Johnson's 5-for-8 shooting effort in the first 20 minutes included 3-for-6 accuracy from long range. His trey with 39 seconds to go before halftime snapped a 28-all tie.

Konieczny paced Notre Dame with 10 first-half points while contributing two of the Fighting Irish's five 3-pointers. Konieczny and Roper swished threes to bookend an 8-0 Notre Dame run to open the game.

Fighting Irish leading scorer Markus Burton was held scoreless until the 5:07 mark of the first half. He finished with eight points and dished out five assists.

Notre Dame maintained a 10-6 advantage in the all-time series with South Carolina. Tuesday marked the first meeting between the schools since February 1984.

--Field Level Media

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