CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Wesley Myers and Chris Silva each scored 14 points to help South Carolina beat Western Michigan 79-66 in Sunday's fifth-place game at the relocated Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The Gamecocks (4-1) led 35-34 at the break, but upped their defensive intensity to harass the Broncos into mistakes. South Carolina ran off 14 unanswered points during a 17-1 run while holding Western Michigan without a basket for nearly 8½ minutes.
That turned a one-point edge into a 57-40 margin on Kory Holden's 3-pointer with 10:02 left. South Carolina led by double figures from there.
Thomas Wilder scored 15 points to lead Western Michigan (2-3), which committed 22 turnovers that led to 28 points for the Gamecocks. Bryce Moore tied a career-high with four 3-pointers and scored 14 points.
It was the second time the Gamecocks had beaten Western Michigan this week. They won 78-60 at home Monday, then won in Conway after the tournament was relocated due to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks had a rough Tip-Off opener by struggling to operate against Illinois State's zone, but they regrouped with two double-figure wins by rolling past UTEP on Friday and then Western Michigan. The second-half defensive play Sunday was a positive, too, considering Western Michigan managed just four shot attempts during its 8-minute basket drought due to all the turnovers.
Western Michigan: The preseason Mid-American Conference favorite lost two of three in Conway, first by falling 81-74 to Tulsa in Thursday's first round. The Broncos then had a big second-half opening to pull away from Appalachian State on Day 2, but they committed just too many mistakes to earn their first win against a power-conference opponent since 2006. ... Wilder, a 6-foot-3 senior, had a big offensive showing with 65 points in the three days, including when he scored 24 of his 31 points after halftime against Appalachian State. But he turned it over 10 times against the Gamecocks after entering with just two on the season.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks travel to Florida International on Nov. 27.
Western Michigan: The Broncos host Northwood on Nov. 25.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap