COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Lakeem Jackson scored a season-high 16 points to help South Carolina pull away late for a 74-69 victory over Appalachian State Wednesday night.
Appalachian State pulled within two points on a layup by Jay Canty with 21 seconds remaining, but Eric Smith connected on one free throw for the Gamecocks (7-3) and LaShay Page sank two with 4 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Jackson and Page combined for nine of South Carolina's final 16 points, beginning with seven straight to start a 9-0 run that broke open a tight game.
Page, who was scoreless until that point, began the run with a three-point play and two free throws to give South Carolina a 63-58 lead with 4:19 remaining. Jackson and Mindaugas Kacinas added layups to end the run.
Page scored seven points in the final 4:42.
Appalachian State kept chipping away and had a chance to tie but Nathan Healy missed a 3-pointer that could have forced overtime.
The Mountaineers (2-8) trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half but used a 15-5 run to take their first lead, 35-34, on a fast-break basket by Canty with 28 seconds left. Bruce Ellington gave South Carolina a 37-35 halftime lead on his 3-pointer with 7 seconds remaining.
Kacinas, who made his first career start, recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Brenton Williams chipped in 11 points, and Eric Smith had a career-high nine assists.
Ted Kapita was the top-rated recruit from West Virginia in the class of 2015 and recently played at DME Academy in Florida.
With the Suns drafting Tyler Ulis, they now have five guards on their roster who attended Kentucky.
NBA fans will be looking forward to their newest players making plays like this next season.