COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Laimonas Chatkevicius scored a career-high 30 points on 15-of-16 shooting, Sindarius Thornwell added 20 points and short-handed South Carolina cruised past High Point 88-66 on Tuesday night to move into the second round of the NIT.
South Carolina coach Frank Martin announced Tuesday that five backup players were suspended indefinitely for "conduct issues."
But the Gamecocks did not miss a beat as they went up by 18 through the first 11 minutes.
High Point started the game 1 of 7 from 3-point range but made its next four 3s, which came during a 21-6 spurt to pull to 42-41. South Carolina led 48-43 at the break after being outscored 23-12 in the final seven minutes.
South Carolina (25-8) opened the second half with two easy baskets and a Thornwell 3-pointer to go up 55-43. Chatkevicius' put-back dunk made it 67-52 with 12 minutes left and the Gamecocks cruised.
Austin White scored 15 for High Point (21-11), which was playing without Big South Player of the Year/Defensive Player of the Year John Brown (foot) and second team All-Big South selection Adam Weary (knee).