COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Lakeem Jackson scored a season-high 16 points to help South Carolina pull away late for a 74-69 victory over Appalachian State Wednesday night.
Appalachian State pulled within two points on a layup by Jay Canty with 21 seconds remaining, but Eric Smith connected on one free throw for the Gamecocks (7-3) and LaShay Page sank two with 4 seconds remaining to seal the win.Jackson and Page combined for nine of South Carolina's final 16 points, beginning with seven straight to start a 9-0 run that broke open a tight game.Page, who was scoreless until that point, began the run with a three-point play and two free throws to give South Carolina a 63-58 lead with 4:19 remaining. Jackson and Mindaugas Kacinas added layups to end the run.Page scored seven points in the final 4:42.Appalachian State kept chipping away and had a chance to tie but Nathan Healy missed a 3-pointer that could have forced overtime.The Mountaineers (2-8) trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half but used a 15-5 run to take their first lead, 35-34, on a fast-break basket by Canty with 28 seconds left. Bruce Ellington gave South Carolina a 37-35 halftime lead on his 3-pointer with 7 seconds remaining.Kacinas, who made his first career start, recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Brenton Williams chipped in 11 points, and Eric Smith had a career-high nine assists.Tevin Baskin, Mike Neal and Canty each scored 16 points to lead the Mountaineers.