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South Carolina handles Eastern Michigan despite Emoni Bates’ 36

Dec 30, 2022; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Chico Carter Jr. (2) passes around Eastern Michigan Eagles guard Noah Farrakhan (2) in the first half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory “GG” Jackson II had 24 points and Chico Carter Jr. added 15 to lead South Carolina to a 74-64 victory over visiting Eastern Michigan on Friday at Columbia, S.C.

Jackson shot 9 of 19 from the field, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range, to go along with a game-high nine rebounds. Carter had a near-perfect shooting performance by making 6 of 7 from the field, 2 of 3 from deep and 1 of 2 from the free-throw line. Meechie Johnson chipped in 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.

The Gamecocks (7-6) shot 28 of 63 (44.4 percent) from the field, including 8 of 26 (30.8 percent) from 3-point range. South Carolina, which has won four of its past six games, outrebounded the Eagles 46-30.

Eastern Michigan (3-10) was led by Emoni Bates, who scored a career-high 36 points by going 13 of 25 from the field, including 8 of 15 from beyond the arc, to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Jalin Billingsley and Tyson Acuff finished with seven points apiece.

The Eagles, who have dropped four of their past five games, shot 25 of 63 (39.7 percent) from the field, including 10 of 28 (35.7 percent) from beyond the arc.

Jacobi Wright’s layup gave the Gamecocks a 57-43 lead with 10:07 remaining. The Eagles didn’t get within seven the rest of the way.

After Yusuf Jihad’s dunk pulled the Eagles to within 15-13 with 11:28 left in the first half, the Gamecocks put the game away by going on a 17-5 run to take a 32-18 lead following Johnson’s layup with 6:31 left.

Jackson scored 10 points and Carter had nine in the first 20 minutes for South Carolina, which led 40-30 at halftime. The Gamecocks shot 17 of 31 (54.8 percent) from the field before the break, including 3 of 10 (30 percent) from beyond the arc.

Eastern Michigan was led by Bates’ 13 first-half points, while Billingsley added seven.

The Eagles shot 12 of 29 (41.4 percent) from the field prior to halftime, including 3 of 15 (20 percent) from distance.

–Field Level Media