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St. John’s men’s basketball can’t keep up with No. 25 South Carolina

St. John s coach Chris Mullin calls

St. John s coach Chris Mullin calls out to the officials during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Carolina, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Uncasville, Conn. Credit: AP / Jessica Hill

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Duane Notice scored 20 points to lead No. 25 South Carolina over St. John’s 75-61 on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Gamecocks (11-0) came in ranked for the first time since March 16, 2004 when they were 23rd in the final regular-season poll. South Carolina was 10-0 for the first time in 80 years after beating Clemson 65-59 last Friday.

It’s the program’s best start since the Gamecocks opened the 1933-34 season 17-0. The 11 straight wins are the most since the 1996-97 season when they won 12 consecutive games.

A balanced attack was the key for South Carolina, which had four players finish in double digits scoring including Michael Carrera with 16, Sindarius Thornwell had 11 and Laimonas Chatkevicius 10.

After falling behind 13-7 in the opening six minutes, the Gamecocks went on a 24-6 run to lead 31-19 at 4:18 after Carrera’s 3-pointer. They would never trail again.

South Carolina hit five of its nine 3-pointer in the first half and Notice led the way with 14 points off the bench.

In addition to hitting from outside, the Gamecocks dominated in the paint with a 36-20 scoring advantage. South Carolina led by as many as 11 points in the first half.

The Red Storm closed the first half hitting their last six shots, including a 3-pointer from Durand Johnson with 5 seconds left, to cut South Carolina’s lead to 40-34.

The Red Storm tried to make a run in the second half, but after closing to 56-48 with 9:29 remaining, the Gamecocks broke off an 11-2 burst to pull away.

St. John’s hurt itself with poor free-throw shooting, going 9-for-17 in the second half and 12-for-27 for the game. The Red Storm are 30-for-61 at the line in their last two games.

South Carolina was 14-for-19 on its foul shots, including 9-for-10 in the second half.

Johnson led St. John’s with 16 points. Federico Mussini added 12 points and Christian Jones 10.

New York Sports