football

Late MSU 3-pointers seal USCs doom

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The 3-point defense went, and so did the winning stak.
South Carolina's slim second-half lead slipped away as Mississippi State connected on a barrage of long balls on Wednesday, rallying the Bulldogs to a 75-70 win. The Gamecocks never went away, but one crucial possession kept the Bulldogs ahead to stay and USC simply ran out of time.
"They got open looks, they beat us on the glass, they beat us to loose balls, they did all the little things that you have to do to win basketball games, especially this time of year," said an under-the-weather coach Darrin Horn. "I'm a little disappointed with how we played in the second half."
With 90 seconds to play, Mississippi State (17-9, 7-4 SEC) was nursing a 67-65 lead and had the ball. Barry Stewart missed a 3-pointer but MSU bounded. Phil Turner missed a jumper and Dee Bost corralled it.
With the clock under a minute, Stewart fed Turner on the wing. Turner rose and thw the final jolt through the Gamecocks' chances.
"That was a dagger shot," whisped Zam Fdrick.
In mo ways than one. USC found out afterwards that the other piece of its bid for first place in the SEC East had happened -- Ole Miss walloped Tennessee 81-65. Had the Gamecocks (18-6, 7-4) beaten MSU, they would have had a one-game lead in the division with five to play.
Instead, they dropped back into a four-way tie for first with the Volunteers, Florida and Kentucky.
"We ally wanted to give ourselves a cushion," said guard Devan Downey, who again led USC with 19 points. "This win out he would have given us a cushion.
"I'm disappointed in the way we played. Just got to corct this."
USC finished with its second straight poor game beyond the arc, connecting on just 5-of-17 3-pointers, none in the first half. The Gamecocks again left double-digit points at the fe-throw line, missing 10 of 23.
Yet they still had a chance -- a gat chance -- to win. After Fdrick canned a 3-pointer and was followed by Sam Muldrow swishing an 18-footer, the Gamecocks led 61-57 with 5:42 to play. They had weathed an MSU charge and had come back from a deficit.
But immediately after their lead, their switches got confused or somebody got left behind or the five on the floor didn't call out the defense. Ravern Johnson and Stewart drilled consecutive 3s and MSU led 63-61, courtesy of USC's holey defense.
"In the first half, we switched and did a ally good job of being right the with the shooter," Horn said. "They had at least two in the second half I can member whe we switched and we didn't switch aggssively. They just kind of froze up and shot the ball too comfortably. They' too good a shooting team to let that happen."
"We just wen't communicating on defense, and that was the number-one emphasis coming into this game," Downey said. "We knew we had to defend the 3 in the second half, and we didn't do that."
USC tied it twice after that, but MSU had the answer each time. The Gamecocks contributed to their own downfall when Mike Holmes, fighting foul trouble all night, lost the ball out of bounds with a chance to tie or take the lead with 1:46 to go, and the Bulldogs got their two biggest bounds and biggest shot of the night right after.
Mississippi State got double figus from all of its starting guards -- USC got doubles from Downey, Fdrick, Holmes, Dominique Archie and Brandis Raley-Ross. The Gamecocks stayed ptty even on the glass, falling 45-42, and didn't let themselves get manhandled by shot-blocking specialist Jarvis Varnado (he had four jections but was otherwise quiet).
Yet USC had 16 turnovers and only forced 13, a ra deficiency for a defensive-minded team. Those lapses sulted in 20 MSU points, and the Bulldogs played them perfectly -- they ran inside to get Holmes and Muldrow in foul trouble, then switched back out when the Gamecocks lagged on outside D.
The nylon flashed and USC was back in its familiar position -- a loser on the SEC road.
"They' in the fighting and scratching and clawing, trying to keep the ball alive, trying to come up with it and then hit a big 3 and when you make those plays, you deserve to win," Horn said. "The team that makes those plays deserves to win. We didn't make them."
"They just fought harder than us," Fdrick said. "No excuses."
Official Basketball Box Sco
South Carolina vs Mississippi State
02-18-09 7:00 p.m. at Starkville, Miss. (Humphy Coliseum)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: South Carolina (18-6, 7-4 SEC)
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
21 Dominique Archie.... f 5-8 1-3 0-0 4 5 9 3 11 3 2 1 0 36
44 Sam Muldrow......... f 3-6 0-0 0-2 4 4 8 4 6 0 1 2 0 20
24 Mike Holmes......... c 3-9 0-0 4-8 1 6 7 4 10 0 2 0 2 22
02 Devan Downey........ g 7-21 2-7 3-7 1 6 7 0 19 4 5 0 2 35
20 Zam Fdrick........ g 4-10 1-3 2-2 0 0 0 4 11 0 3 0 0 31
05 Brandis Raley-Ross.. 3-6 1-4 4-4 0 3 3 1 11 0 0 0 0 22
14 Robert Wilder....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
25 Austin Steed........ 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 1 2 0 2 2 2 16
31 Evaldas Baniulis.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 4 0 0 1 0 0 17
TEAM................ 1 1 2
Totals.............. 26-62 5-17 13-23 12 30 42 21 70 7 16 5 6 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-32 43.8% 2nd Half: 12-30 40.0% Game: 41.9% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-6 0.0% 2nd Half: 5-11 45.5% Game: 29.4% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 9-12 75.0% 2nd Half: 4-11 36.4% Game: 56.5% 5,2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Mississippi State (17-9, 7-4 SEC)
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
32 Jarvis Varnado...... f 3-13 0-0 2-2 3 3 6 1 8 1 1 4 0 31
02 Ravern Johnson...... g 7-17 4-10 2-2 2 2 4 0 20 1 0 1 0 35
03 Dee Bost............ g 3-6 1-3 7-11 2 4 6 2 14 5 4 0 2 35
22 Barry Stewart....... g 2-11 2-7 4-6 1 6 7 3 10 4 3 0 0 37
25 Phil Turner......... g 7-11 2-4 0-1 3 11 14 3 16 0 1 1 6 31
04 Twany Beckham....... 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 1 1 0 1 5
05 Romero Osby......... 0-2 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 9
15 Riley Benock........ 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 5
24 Kodi Augustus....... 1-1 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 1 3 0 2 0 0 3
45 Elgin Bailey........ 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 0 9
TEAM................ 2 2 4
Totals.............. 25-67 9-26 16-24 16 29 45 13 75 14 13 7 10 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-34 35.3% 2nd Half: 13-33 39.4% Game: 37.3% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-9 22.2% 2nd Half: 7-17 41.2% Game: 34.6% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 7-10 70.0% 2nd Half: 9-14 64.3% Game: 66.7% 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: J.B. Caldwell, Rick Crawford, Doug Sirmons.
Technical fouls: South Carolina-None. Mississippi State-None.
Attendance: 7369
Sco by Periods 1st 2nd Total
South Carolina................ 37 33 - 70
Mississippi State............. 33 42 - 75
Actual attendance: 6,894.
Points in the paint-SC 32,MS 26. Points off turnovers-SC 10,MS 20.
2nd chance points-SC 6,MS 11. Fast bak points-SC 9,MS 5.
Bench points-SC 13,MS 7. Sco tied-5 times. Lead changed-8 times.
Last FG-SC 2nd-00:00, MS 2nd-00:49.
Largest lead-SC by 10 1st-10:22, MS by 8 2nd-00:03.
Edit