The Gamecocks increased their defensive intensity in the second half and showed more patience on the offensive end to rout Miles 73-48. The Gamecocks, who won only one game last season after winning their exhibition, pulled away from a six-point halftime lead by outscoring the Division II visitors 39-20 in the final 20 minutes. They held the Bears to 22 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers in the half.
“There’s no question if we will compete defensively like we did in the second half and execute offensively like we did, we’ll have a chance to win some games,” Pietri said. “At the end of the day it’s all about giving yourself a chance. If you have a chance, then the end will be determined by how much fortitude and competitiveness you have to finish it.”