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South Carolina’s Physicality too Much for Marshall
With both sides exchanging blows early in the contest, South Carolina settled in and pulled out front by nine points, 22-13, with 7:39 to play in the first half.
The Gamecocks maintained a lead for a majority of the first half, with the exception having been for a span of 26 seconds after freshman guard Kareem Canty (Harlem, N.Y.) sank a layup to put the Herd up 31-30 with 3:10 to play in the first half.
At the break, Marshall found itself down, 36-31, with freshman forward Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis, Ind.) posting a game high 11 points, followed by 10 from junior forward Shawn Smith (Sacramento, Calif.).
South Carolina re-extended its lead in the second half with a renewed energy after halftime and continued to widen the gap over the Herd. The Gamecocks made themselves at home in the paint and on the boards, allowing them to overpower the Herd for the remainder of the contest.
With nine seconds remaining, South Carolina stretched its lead to 27 points, the largest lead of the day, before the clock ran out and the Gamecocks secured a 92-65 triumph.
The Herd struggled to keep pace with the South Carolina offense as the Gamecocks scored 56 points in the second half, to 34 by Marshall. South Carolina showed its physical nature with a 54-28 edge in points in the paint and led in second chance points 18-4, while the Herd lost the rebound battle, 45-28.
Smith finished as the game’s leading scorer with 19 points, with an 11-of-14 showing from the charity stripe. Taylor followed with 18 points of his own as Canty and sophomore guard Chris Thomas (Denver) rounded out the double-figure scorers for Marshall, with 11 and 10 respectively.
The Herd will now travel to Ohio for a date with Mid-American Conference member Akron, Thursday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m.