COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)Gregory Jackson II threw down three dunks in the first half and knocked down four 3-pointers in the second to score a career-high 24 points and help South Carolina power its way past Eastern Michigan, 74-64 on Friday night.
The game featured a pair of highly rated recruits. Jackson, originally the top-rated recruit in the Class of 2023 before reclassifying himself and committing to South Carolina for the 2022-23 season, finished with a career-high 24 points. Sophomore Emoni Bates, the No. 3 recruit from the Class of 2021 who played at Memphis as a freshman, hit 8 of 15 from 3-point range and posted a career-high 36 points to lead Eastern Michigan.
Jackson, who turned 18 years old December 17 and is the highest-rated recruit in program history, was 9 of 19 from the field and hit 4 of 9 from beyond the arc while pulling down nine rebounds.
South Carolina built a 10-point lead in the first half and held a 40-30 advantage at intermission.
Chico Carter Jr. had 15 points for the Gamecocks (7-6). Meechie Johnson added 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Eastern Michigan had trouble finding offense outside of Bates, who shot 13 of 25 from the field, including 8 of 15 from distance, and was the only player to reach double-figure scoring. As a team the Eagles were 25 of 63 from the field (39.7%).
Eastern Michigan opens Mid-American Conference play Tuesday when it plays host to Bowling Green.
South Carolina plays its Southeastern Conference opener Tuesday in Nashville against Vanderbilt.
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