ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP)Jermaine Couisnard hit a clutch 3-pointer to blunt a Western Kentucky rally, finishing with 16 points, and South Carolina held off the Hilltoppers 75-64 in the consolation game of the inaugural Asheville Championship on Sunday.
Devin Carter also scored 16 for the Gamecocks (2-1) and James Reese scored 14 points, draining four 3-pointers.
Carter, who finished 8 of 8 at the line, made six straight free throws and Erik Stevenson added a drive off a steal and a 3-pointer as South Carolina broke open a three-point game with an 11-1 run at the midpoint of the second half.
Western Kentucky (1-2) never led after halftime but kept whittling South Carolina’s leads down to one possession. After the surge by Carter and Stevenson eventually led to a 15-point Gamecocks advantage, the Hilltoppers scored eight in a row to trail 68-61 with 3:28 to go
That’s when Couisnard rattled home a corner 3,sparking a 9-4 breakaway to get the lead back to 15.
South Carolina had its best showing of the young season from beyond the arc, making 9 of 27. The Gamecocks are 16-for-69 from deep in three games.
Josh Anderson scored 16 points to lead four Hilltoppers into double-figure scoring. Jairus Hamilton added 13 with three steals, Dayvion McKnight 11 with four steals and Jaylen Butz scored 10 with three steals.
South Carolina is 9-1 against Western Kentucky.
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