COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Sindarius Thornwell scored 18 points and South Carolina cruised to an 85-76 victory over Louisiana Tech on Friday night.
Thornwell was 7 of 16 from the floor. P.J. Dozier and Duane Notice added 17 points apiece for the Gamecocks, who overcame foul trouble and Louisiana Tech's trapping defense. Thornwell's steal and ensuing dunk with 2:37 left gave the Gamecocks a 10-point lead.
Trailing by 15 points early in the second half, Louisiana Tech climbed back with 3-point shooting. South Carolina began to earn more trips to the free-throw line but couldn't convert, and the Bulldogs' 3s cut the deficit to 65-61 with about eight minutes to play. The Gamecocks made just 16 of 26 from the line.
Derric Jean had 18 points and Jacobi Boykins added 14 to lead Louisiana Tech. DaQuan Bracey and Omar Sherman added 12 apiece.