Josh Gonner had 14 points in 16 minutes and Powell hit 7-of-11 field goals for the Gamecocks in their season opener. Brandon Wallace tied his career high with 13 points.
The Catamounts (0-5) were led by Corey Muirhead's 16 points. David Berghoefer added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Western Carolina outscored the Gamecocks 14-2 in a 3-minute span to take a 29-22 lead on Muirhead's steal and dunk with 5:36 left in the first half.
South Carolina used a 12-2 run behind Wallace's five points - including a 3-pointer - to go up 34-31 with 1:23 remaining.
Ahead 37-33 at halftime, the Gamecocks extended their lead to 55-45 on Kinsey's basket with 14:11 left. The Catamounts pulled to six before South Carolina put the game away with a 19-2 run.
South Carolina Cruises Past W. Carolina, 87-61
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