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South Carolina handles Lipscomb, 92-76

South Carolina improved to 6-0 after defeating Lipscomb, 92-76, in an afternoon affair on Black Friday.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

A belly full of turkey couldn't hold the Gamecocks back from earning their sixth consecutive win. A day after the Thanksgiving festivities, South Carolina secured a 6-0 start for the first time since 2003 with a 92-76 win over Lipscomb in Colonial Life Arena.

Head coach Frank Martin was not pleased with his team following their Thursday practice, flatly calling the session "bad" after today's game. Martin was upset with his team's defense and rebounding today, admitting they were not talented enough to show up and beat people.

Lipscomb's early lead had to wake up the Gamecock starters on Black Friday. The Bison rose to a 9-6 lead with senior Laimonas Chatkevicius scoring all six of Carolina's points. Star reserve Duane Notice was inserted and immediately hit a tree-pointer. Fellow reserve Justin McKie put in consecutive buckets off steals and the Gamecocks quickly took a 15-11 lead into a Lipscomb timeout.

Early on, it was the Bison's three-pointers vs. the Gamecocks' free throws. Lipscomb entered Friday's game with the most three-point attempts in the country, averaging close to 26 treys a game. USC quickly got into the bonus as the Bison hit three of their first five three-point attempts. The South Carolina free throws prevailed as at one point Martin's team scored 15 of a stretch's 20 points.

Freshman P.J. Dozier led the team early on, scoring nine points in the first half after a late make from deep. Dozier had two assists in the beginning as the Gamecocks assisted on 12 of their first 16 field goals. Both teams shot 50 percent or better from the field in the first half but South Carolina held a 51-40 lead at halftime.

A scary moment occurred early on in the second half. Freshman Chris Silva soared for his third block of the game but would land awkwardly on his left leg. He was in visible pain during the ensuing timeout but the team would relay that Silva was simply suffering from cramps. The athletic freshman would eventually return, altering a shot and giving his team a slam on the other end in his first few minutes back from the bench.

South Carolina held a double-digit lead for much of the game but Lipscomb reduced their deficit to five, using a stretch of transition baskets and hot three-point shooting to get back into the game. Bison head coach Casey Alexander would say that while three-point shooting got them back into the game, it would be their undoing later on.

The Gamecocks deployed a 2-3 zone when their lead got within two possessions. The new look affected Lipscomb, forcing them to miss several shots down the stretch. As the Bison went cold, USC used a 14-3 run to build an 18-point lead, the largest of the game.

South Carolina earned the victory after shooting 50 percent from the field for the third consecutive game, the first time the program has done that since the 2003-04 season. It was also the third consecutive game that at least five Gamecock players scored in double-figures.

Chatkevicius lead the team with 17 points while Notice poured in 16 and Mindaugas Kacinas tallied 15. Silva and Dozier finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Silva's 12-point, 7-rebound performance were his highest totals in those categories since the season opener.

Sophomore point guard Marcus Stroman missed today's game with a strained quad but Dozier and Sindarius Thornwell handled the ball-handling duties just fine. The two in-state products combined for 11 assists on the afternoon.

South Carolina hosts Western Carolina on Monday night from Colonial Life Arena.