The Gamecocks (6-3) shot 71.9 percent (23-32) from the floor in the first half, including making 6 of 7 three-pointers, to snap a two-game skid.
Michael Carrera tallied 17 points and nine rebounds to pace the South Carolina offense. Brian Richardson was a 4-for-4 from beyond the arc for 16 points.
“This wasn’t our night,” JU head coach Cliff Warren said. “Every time we gained some momentum, they had an answer for it. We have a break for finals that will allow us regroup for the final stretch of non-conference games before A-Sun play starts.”
Freshman Marcellous Bell scored 17 points off the bench to lead the Dolphins (4-6) offense. Freshman Jarvis Haywood added 13 points, while junior Keith McDougald scored 12.
In the first half, the Dolphins cut an early deficit to 16-10 on jumpers by Bell (14:42) and McDougald (13:49). The Gamecocks pushed the lead to double-digits until junior Dylan Fritsch made it a 29-21 deficit on a three-pointer at 9:00. Brenton Williams followed with consecutive three-pointers to spark a 19-5 South Carolina run for a commanding lead (48-26) they would never relinquish.
Williams and Bruce Ellington each finished with 12 points for the Gamecocks. In all, the Gamecocks finished 10 of 16 from beyond the arc.
A Richardson three-pointer early into the second half gave the Gamecocks their largest lead of the contest (66-33, 16:36). With less than six minutes left, the Dolphins trimmed the lead to 80-56 on a layup by freshman Tyler Alderman. Bell scored 11 of his 17 points for JU in the final 10 minutes of the contest
Senior Glenn Powell had nine points and nine rebounds for JU in the loss. Freshman Kordario Fleming scored eight off the bench, while Alderman had two of JU’s eight blocks.
The Dolphins will take next week off for finals before returning to the court Dec. 18 to host Wofford in the Veterans Memorial Arena at 7:15 p.m. It’s also the annual “Free Admission Night” sponsored by Sea Best Seafood.