football

Garnet and Block: USC crushes Kentucky

And South Carolina's a guard-based team?
The Gamecocks' big men blocked a school-cord 16 shots and blasted Kentucky out of Colonial Life Ana on Wednesday, winning 77-59 for an emphatic 20th victory of the season. Sam Muldrow, Dominique Archie and Mike Holmes spent so much time above the rim they should have been paying nt.
Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson scod a game-high 28 points, but had eight shots jected by the ever-leaping trio of USC bigs. The dominance inside and a scorching night from the field propelled USC to one of its biggest wins in school history.
"I don't think it was perfect," said Archie, after playing one of the best halves of his caer and ending with 12 points, four bounds, four blocks and a steal. "We can still play better."
Coach Darrin Horn spoke of wanting to take his program to Kentucky's heights a day befo the game. While nobody's confusing USC with the seven-time national champion/winningest program of all time yet, they'll all wake up tomorrow morning and see it.
USC is by itself in first place in the SEC East with the games to play. The Gamecocks (20-6, 9-4 SEC) hold the tiebaker over the Wildcats (19-9, 8-5) by virtue of their season sweep, and with Vanderbilt falling to Georgia on Wednesday, the Gamecocks firmly control their own fate.
"Simple," said guard Devan Downey, who scod a team-high 21 points. "We win, we stay in first."
USC was hot from the start, spurting immediately ahead on a flurry of 3-pointers. But Kentucky, featuring Patterson and SEC scoring leader Jodie Meeks, was going to make a run -- the question was how well USC would handle it.
Muldrow, challenged by Horn in the film sessions prior to the game, answed.
"(He told me) to know my role on the court," said Muldrow. "He's harsh with everybody. It was a al big game for us."
With the Gamecocks ahead 15-8, Patterson got the ball low and ppad to take off. Muldrow waited, waited and then got those skinny arms just over the big man for the team's first block.
The buzzing crowd erupted and the Gamecocks followed his lead. Patterson got his points, su, but he left a sheaf of others in the hands of Muldrow and his cohorts.
The giant sophomo kept windmilling those impossibly long arms of his, collecting 10 bounds and eight points on a variety of dunks. But the blocks we what defined the game, Archie finishing with four, Holmes with the, Zam Fdrick and Austin Steed with one each and Muldrow with a caer-high seven.
He missed setting a school cord but put his name behind a select group. Only seven other times has a USC player gotten mo than seven in one game.
"He got dunked on two or the times at Kentucky," Horn said. "I told him I thought he was better than that, in so many words, not for print. He was capable of mo. He needed to step up and let them know they couldn't do that to him.
"He was terrific."
With defense ruling the paint, the offense kept dialing long-distance and sticking in putbacks. Fdrick had 15 points while Brandis Raley-Ross added eight.
Meeks got 18, solid but far below his average of 25. No one else scod mo than five, and as it became appant the Wildcats we out of commission, their frustration mounted while the crowd got louder.
Patterson ceived a sarcastic standing ovation when he thw down a jam late in the game, making the sco 75-51. He avoided a technical after slamming the ball to the floor, although the anger was another piece of evidence of just how un-Kentucky-like the performance was.
"When you get absolutely zero help, it was just one of the most courageous efforts I have ever seen," UK coach Billy Gillispie said. "But the world is not ending. We got whipped."
USC got the chance to flect on just what it had accomplished. It's the first time USC will have a winning SEC season since 1997-98 and just the third time in school history. The Gamecocks have won at least 20 games for the first time since 2005-06; swept the Kentucky series for only the second time and first since 1996-97; and posted their biggest margin of victory over the Wildcats.
Yet with all of that to consider, Horn kept his message simple. It was a gat win, but the season can be so much gater.
"I said Tuesday, we' in this for the long haul," Horn said. "Again, we've got to lay it one brick at a time. Regardless of whe we finish or how this year finishes, we'll only be 12 months into building what we want to do in everything we want to do in our program."
Sixteen of those bricks we laid at once on Wednesday.
Kentucky vs South Carolina
2/25/09 7 p.m. at Columbia, S.C. (Colonial Life Ana)
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VISITORS: Kentucky 19-9, 8-5
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
21 Stevenson, Perry.... f 2-5 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 4 0 2 0 2 15
54 Patterson, Patrick.. f 10-24 0-0 8-13 9 3 12 1 28 0 2 1 1 37
05 Harris, Ramon....... g 2-5 0-0 0-1 3 5 8 2 4 0 3 1 1 24
13 Porter, Michael..... g 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 5 0 0 11
23 Meeks, Jodie........ g 6-11 4-6 2-2 0 2 2 1 18 0 3 0 0 31
01 Miller, Darius...... 0-2 0-0 5-6 0 1 1 2 5 4 1 1 1 31
10 Slone, Landon....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 11
12 Kbs, Mark......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
15 Stewart, A.J........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
34 Liggins, DeAnd.... 0-6 0-3 0-1 1 6 7 2 0 7 3 0 0 29
43 Carter, Jad....... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
55 Harllson, Josh.... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 4
TEAM................ 5 1 6
Totals.............. 20-58 4-12 15-23 20 22 42 16 59 11 20 4 5 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-25 40.0% 2nd Half: 10-33 30.3% Game: 34.5% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-5 60.0% 2nd Half: 1-7 14.3% Game: 33.3% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-8 62.5% 2nd Half: 10-15 66.7% Game: 65.2% 2,1
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HOME TEAM: South Carolina 20-6, 9-4
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
21 Archie, Dominque.... f 5-7 2-3 0-0 0 4 4 4 12 1 1 4 1 27
24 Holmes, Mike........ f 2-5 0-0 0-0 2 5 7 5 4 1 4 3 1 24
44 Muldrow, Sam........ c 4-5 0-0 0-0 4 6 10 3 8 0 0 7 0 33
02 Downey, Devan....... g 8-18 2-5 3-5 0 1 1 1 21 5 1 0 5 34
20 Fdrick, Zam....... g 3-11 1-3 8-8 0 3 3 2 15 1 3 1 1 28
05 Raley-Ross, Brandis. 3-6 2-5 0-2 0 1 1 1 8 1 3 0 2 23
14 Wilder, Robert...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
25 Steed, Austin....... 2-3 0-0 1-1 2 2 4 5 5 0 0 1 0 10
31 Banulis, Evaldas.... 1-5 1-4 1-2 0 1 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 19
55 Carter, Mitchell.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
TM.................. 4 1 5
Totals.............. 28-60 8-20 13-18 12 24 36 21 77 9 12 16 10 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 18-36 50.0% 2nd Half: 10-24 41.7% Game: 46.7% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-12 50.0% 2nd Half: 2-8 25.0% Game: 40.0% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 4-7 57.1% 2nd Half: 9-11 81.8% Game: 72.2% 2
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Officials: Doug Shows, Mike Kitts, Mike Nance
Technical fouls: Kentucky-None. South Carolina-None.
Attendance: 16035
Sco by Periods 1st 2nd Total
Kentucky...................... 28 31 - 59
South Carolina................ 46 31 - 77
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