David Cloninger

Justin McKie’s 17 points lead Gamecocks over Costa Rica

Justin McKie
Justin McKie dmclemore@thestate.com

At San Ramon, Costa Rica, South Carolina posted a 73-53 victory over the Costa Rica National Team on Sunday. The Gamecocks were on Day 2 of a six-day foreign tour. Senior guard Justin McKie led USC with 17 points, while classmate Duane Notice added 16.

Prior to the matchup, the Gamecocks hosted a clinic for the local community, where youth in attendance were able to learn basketball skills.

McKie and Notice led the Gamecocks on the offensive end, while senior guard Sindarius Thornwell and sophomore guard Hassani Gravett both pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and dished four assists apiece. Freshman forward Maik Kotsar and sophomore guard TeMarcus Blanton were also among the rebounding leaders with seven each. Notice led all scorers with 12 points at halftime.

“I thought after the first quarter we were able to shake off a few jitters and travel, and settle in and defend,” associate head coach Matt Figger said. “We shot the ball pretty well and we played without fouling. We mixed and matched guys together to see how we would handle playing different spots. For the most part, it was pleasing.

“We were able to run and score in transition and that gave us a comfortable lead. We fatigued in the second half, which was expected. I thought we were able to make the game faster by pressing and then controlled the game by using our zone.”

USC will face the Costa Rica National Team again on Monday, hosting a clinic for Special Olympics prior to the contest.