South Carolina used a 9-0 run late in the first half and another 9-0 run early in the second half to take control and defeat Wyoming 80-64 on Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C.
Chris Silva ignited the Gamecocks with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He had plenty of help from Felipe Haase, who had 17 points and nine rebounds. Frank Booker added 16 points and six rebounds for South Carolina (7-2).
Justin James posted a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds) to lead the Cowboys (6-3). Hayden Dalton had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for Wyoming, which was coming off a double-overtime win over Drake on Saturday.
The score was tied five times, the last time at 22-all when the Dalton connected on a jumper.
A 3-pointer by Haase, three free throws by Silva and Maik Kotsar layup gave South Carolina a 31-22 lead. The Cowboys went nearly four minutes without scoring until a Cody Kelley free throw ended the drought.
South Carolina took a 35-25 lead into halftime but quickly saw Wyoming erase most of the deficit. James made five free throws, a 3 by Alexander Aka Gorski and two free throws trimmed the South Carolina lead to 37-33.
But Silva and Booker combined for the game's next nine points and South Carolina survived the Wyoming rally.
South Carolina extended the lead to 19 at 59-40 on a 3-pointer by Justin Minaya.
Two free throws by Dalton got the Cowboys within 11 at 61-50, but that's the closest Wyoming came. Silva's two free throws and a jumper by Kotsar pushed the lead back to 15.
Neither team shot particularly well from the field. The Gamecocks made 36.4 percent in the first half but finished at a respectable 45 percent for the game.
The Cowboys shot 33.3 percent in the first 20 minutes and were held to 34 percent for the game.