COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jermaine Couisnard scored 19 points and AJ Lawson 18 as South Carolina used a big first-half run to put away Texas A&M 74-54 on Saturday.
Couisnard and Lawson combined for six of the Gamecocks' eight 3-pointers to win their fourth straight over the Aggies (11-11, 5-5 Southeastern Conference).
South Carolina (14-9, 6-4) has won six of its past eight league games after starting SEC play at 0-2. And this time, the Gamecocks did it with a first-half charge where they went from trailing by nine points to up 41-23 at the half.
Couisnard and Lawson led the surge with their outside shooting. Lawson hit a 3-pointer after South Carolina had fallen behind 9-0 the first three minutes.
Couisnard, a freshman, put the Gamecocks up for good, 19-18, with nine minutes left in the opening half.
He capped the half with a long, buzzer-beating 3-pointer that got the crowd to its feet and put South Carolina ahead by 18 points at the break.
The Gamecocks built the lead to 61-30 early in the second half, although the Aggies never got closer than 22 points the rest of the way.
It was a strong bounce back for the Gamecocks, who had come off a disappointing loss to on the road last time out to Ole Miss, tied for 11th in the league.
Couisnard was again front and center with 12 points in the half including the buzzer-beating 3-pointer that was reminiscent of his game winner in a 71-68 victory over Kentucky last month.
Texas A&M missed 10 of its last 11 shots of the half to fall into the large hole it could not climb out of.
Quenton Jackson had 16 points to lead the Aggies.
THE BIG PICTURE
Texas A&M: The Aggies don't have enough reliable scorers when things get tough in SEC play. They were outscored 24-5 over the final 8:38 of the opening half as Texas A&M went from a point ahead to 18-points down by halftime. The Aggies finished shooting 27.3%, their worst showing in the SEC this season.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks looked solid in their first game without injured starter Justin Minaya. He was averaging nearly nine points and seven rebounds, but was the team leader in minutes per game, a testament to his steady, smart play. Minaya had surgery on his left thumb and could return sometime next month.
Texas A&M returns home to play Florida on Wednesday night.
South Carolina goes to Georgia on Wednesday night.
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