Forward Maik Kotsar had 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds as South Carolina led from nearly start to finish in a 74-65 win over visiting George Washington in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday afternoon.
A.J. Lawson scored 14 for the Gamecocks, while Jair Bolden and Jermaine Couisnard each scored 12.
George Washington hit just 33.3 percent from the field. Guard Armel Potter led the Colonels with 22 points on 9-of-22 shooting. Freshman Jamison Battle was 6 of 16 on 3-point shooting en route to 18 points, while Jameer Nelson Jr. scored 13.
The Gamecocks took the lead on Lawson’s lay-up 75 seconds into the game to start a 17-0 run. South Carolina had a 12-point halftime lead, which George Washington cut to single-digits at 57-48 with 7:55 left — the first time the Colonels had been that close since early in the first half — on Battle’s fifth 3-pointer of the day.
Battle had an open look on a corner 3 with under six minutes to play that bounced out. Kotsar and guard Couisnard added lay-ups to stretch the lead to 15, and GW never got closer than eight again.
South Carolina made its first six shots from the field, with eight points during the 17-0 run coming from Bolden, who transferred to the Gamecocks after playing two seasons at George Washington.
The Gamecocks missed their first shot when Lawson missed a layup, but Justin Minaya’s tip-in provided a 17-2 lead with 13:30 left.