COLUMBIA, S.C. — Duane Notice tied career highs with 27 points and six 3-pointers as No. 23 South Carolina snapped back from its first Southeastern Conference loss to put away Auburn 98-69 on Tuesday night.
Notice had scored 22 points combined in his previous four games, but like most of his Gamecock teammates let it fly from long range early and often to open a big first-half lead over the Tigers (13-7, 3-5).
Notice and Sindarius Thornwell had four 3-pointers in the first half while Justin McKie hit two as the Gamecocks (16-4, 6-1) led 48-27 at the half.
South Carolina packed things in and slowed down its attack for much of the second half. Notice, though, would not be contained, canning two more 3s as the Gamecocks hit a season high 15 from behind the arc. That was one shy of the team’s game record of 16, accomplished against Campbell in 2007.
The Gamecocks showed little hangover from their last outing, an 85-69 loss at No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday night that dropped them out of a first-place tie atop the SEC. Thornwell hit his team’s first 3-pointer as South Carolina opened a 9-0 lead. Notice hit consecutive long-range shots soon after. When the two seniors each made 3s in the final 2 minutes, the Gamecocks had stretched their margin to over 20 points.
Notice tied his career high in points last set in a win over Florida International last month, a game where he hit six 3-pointers.
Thornwell finished with 22 points and five 3-pointers.
Anfernee McLemore had a career-best 18 points to lead Auburn with 12 points while freshman center Austin Wiley had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double.
THE BIG PICTURE
Auburn: If the Tigers had hopes of hanging with South Carolina, they ended early when they were down 9-0 in the first 2 minutes. Auburn had its chances to stay close, but the 6-foot-11 Wiley missed three of his first four free throws, giving away points instead of making the Gamecocks pay. Auburn could not take advantage when two South Carolina starters, blocks leader Chris Silva and point guard PJ Dozier both spent much of the half on the bench with two fouls apiece.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks would welcome this kind of outside shooting every game. Behind four 3s each from senior starters Thornwell and Notice, South Carolina made 10 of its 16 attempts from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes to open a 20-point lead. The Gamecocks make about six 3s a game and had just five against Kentucky.
Auburn plays at TCU on Saturday night in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
South Carolina travels to Missouri on Saturday night in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.