COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Malik Cooke and Damontre Harris scored 11 points each to lead South Carolina's balanced scoring in a 79-51 victory over South Carolina State on Tuesday night.
All 12 players scored at least one point for the Gamecocks (8-6), who won their fourth straight and sixth of their past seven in their final nonconference game of the season.Bruce Ellington, Damien Leonard and RJ Slawson added nine points apiece for South Carolina, whose victory margin over the Bulldogs (4-10) was its largest this season, surpassing its 25-point margin in a season-opening 75-50 win over Western Carolina.Ellington was playing a day after serving as a kick returner and wide receiver in the Gamecocks' 30-13 victory over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. The sophomore guard missed Saturday's win over South Carolina Upstate but was coming off a 17-point effort in his last outing a 57-45 win over Wofford on Dec. 28.The Gamecocks never trailed and improved to 18-0 all-time against their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent.Eric Smith made the first of South Carolina's seven 3-pointers in the first half to make it 5-2. South Carolina finished 7 of 13 from beyond the arc in the first half and shot 58.6 percent (17 of 29) overall as it built a 45-23 halftime advantage.Luka Radovic led the way for South Carolina State with 15 points. The Bulldogs have lost eight in a row, the past seven on the road. The last time South Carolina State played a home game was on Nov. 29 against Georgia State.South Carolina opens SEC play on the road Saturday at No. 2 Kentucky