South Carolina 85, Toledo 73
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)—Tarence Kinsey scored a career-high 24 points and South Carolina withstood a second-half rally by Toledo to escape with an 85-73 victory on Sunday.
Kinsey, who had 23 points Dec. 22, 2004, against South Carolina State, hit six of seven field goals, including three of four 3-pointers, as well as all nine of his foul shots to lead the Gamecocks.
Down by 26 in the first half and 59-40 with 15:34 left, the Rockets (0-1) went on a furious rally, pulling within 65-61 on the fourth 3-pointer in just over four minutes by reserve Sammy Villegas, who missed all four of his shots in the first half—three from beyond the arc.
But the Gamecocks (2-0), who went nearly nine minutes without a point during Toledo’s run, then put together a 14-5 run while hitting 12 of 14 free throws in the final 2:35—six by Kinsey—to seal the victory in their home opener at the Colonial Center.
Florentino Valencia hit eight of 11 field goals in leading Toledo with 17 points along with seven rebounds, five off the offensive glass. Villegas added 15 points, including five of nine 3-pointers.
Kinsey, Tre Kelley and reserve Dwayne Day each hit two 3-pointers in the first half—the Gamecocks made eight of 12 overall—to bolt to a 50-29 halftime lead before an announced crowd of 4,317.
Up 10-5, South Carolina went on a 15-1 run behind Kinsey’s two 3-pointers and Day’s three-pointer that gave the Gamecocks a 25-6 lead with 11:22 left in the first half. South Carolina upped its lead to 46-20 on Day’s second 3-pointer of the half with 3:18 left.