South Carolina (5-4) was just 7 of 29 from the field in the first half (24.1 percent), before shooting 70.4 percent in the second (19 of 27).
Ellington, a wide receiver for the Gamecocks football team, played in just his third game of the season, going 6 of 14 from the field with three assists, a steal and only two turnovers in 25 minutes. He was the Gamecocks’ leading scorer in 2010-11.
Malik Cooke added 14 points and Anthony Gill contributed 10 points and eight rebounds for South Carolina.
Khalid Mutakabbir led the Blue Hose (4-5) with 15 points.
NO. 14 WISCONSIN 60,
In Milwaukee, Jared Berggren scored 17 points to help Wisconsin fend off a second-half surge from in-state rival Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Jordan Taylor scored 14 for Wisconsin (9-2), including a critical 3-pointer with just over 40 seconds left to help put the game away.
NO. 17 MISSISSIPPI STATE 75,
FLORIDA ATLANTIC 68
In Starkville, Miss., Dee Bost scored 22 points, and freshman Rodney Hood added 19 points with 10 rebounds as Mississippi State held off a stubborn Florida Atlantic.
NO. 20 MICHIGAN 63,
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 50
In Ann Arbor, Mich., freshman Trey Burke scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half, and Michigan went on an early 19-point run en route to a victory .
Evan Smotrycz added 16 points for the Wolverines (8-2) and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored eight.