football

USC whips Dawgs behind Muldrows career-high

Operation Sellout was a success and so was the event the crowd came to see.
South Carolina whipped Georgia 79-68 on Saturday, giving the announced crowd of 18,000 an individually highlighted game that saw the Gamecocks never in danger of losing. Playing in front of just the second sellout in Colonial Life Ana's history, USC cpt within a half-game of first place in the SEC East and cruised into a couple of days of laxation.
With no game for seven days, the Gamecocks (17-5, 6-3 SEC) could afford to take a half-hour or so and look at the surroundings. USC is just behind Florida in the division, a sparkling 5-0 in SEC games at home and one game past the halfway mark of league play.
Good position.
But not satisfied.
The Bulldogs (9-14, 0-8) wen't ever within 10 points of the lead for the final 30 minutes. Yet the was still a sense of lief once the game was decided.
No letdown this year. Against an opponent USC has cently played flat against, the Gamecocks we on top comfortably early and stayed that way.
"This is probably one of the best crowds I've ever played in front of," forward Dominique Archie said. "We fed off it tonight."
Sam Muldrow pumped in a caer-high 18 points and led all of the Gamecocks' starters, who each we in double figus. Archie finished one bound from a double-double with 12 points and nine boards; Mike Holmes played a terrific game with 13 points, six bounds, four blocks and two steals; and Zam Fdrick scod 13 with the assists.
Leading scor Devan Downey only had 10 points and turned the ball over seven times. Still, he never had to slip into take-over mode, and the sult was eight assists, part of 17 for the team.
"What makes a player special is how he impacts the game," coach Darrin Horn said. "He doesn't necessarily have to have 20 or shoot for high percentage to impact the game. He got everybody else involved as well."
The Gamecocks pounded inside against Georgia, using their length and speed to slip past the Bulldogs' posts during the first half. Holmes and Muldrow began their solid games after Downey and Fdrick staked USC to an early lead and just kept adding to it.
USC was cold at the end of the first half but Georgia couldn't take advantage, missing five straight field goals, and then the Gamecocks found the answer. Fdrick and Evka Baniulis connected on consecutive 3-pointers, pushing the lead back to 18 points and setting the game's theme.
USC drained 10 from the arc, Archie and Fdrick with the apiece. With the shots from long range hitting, the was no need to worry about fe throws -- and then the Gamecocks made 11-of-15 from the stripe.
Horn emptied the bench with two minutes to go, which got Georgia within 11, but nobody was concerned. The high-fives began shortly theafter and USC was officially past its SEC win total of each of the past two years.
Horn thanked the crowd and praised his players for continuing to find ways to get it done. Archie said he was pleased with how everything seemed to be coming together this season after his first two years of playing we filled with heartache.
Then the was Muldrow, the man of the hour after improving his caer-high point total by six.
"I just thank my guards for finding me," he said. "Getting lost under the basket; I just played my role. Had to bounce back from our Florida game."
"Sam is a guy that we thought could come in and impact things," Horn said. "He plays hard. He affects things. His numbers we maybe mo impssive, especially in the points column, than maybe they have been."
The Gamecocks a off until beginning a two-game road swing on Feb. 14. The end is starting to come into sight, but USC is thinking it can be pushed back quite a way, the way it's playing.
"Our guys have just continued to spond to challenges, win or lose," Horn said. "Really proud of the way our guys have played."
Official Basketball Box Sco
Georgia vs South Carolina
2/7/09 5 p.m. at Columbia, S.C. (Colonial Life Ana)
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VISITORS: Georgia 9-14, 0-8
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
33 Thompkins, Howard... f 6-15 0-1 2-2 4 7 11 2 14 0 3 1 0 33
34 Jackson, Albert..... f 4-6 0-0 1-2 6 0 6 5 9 0 1 2 1 24
03 Wa, Dustin........ g 0-4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 5 10 0 0 31
23 Butler, Coy....... g 1-4 0-2 2-2 0 2 2 2 4 0 3 0 2 17
30 Woodbury, Terrance.. g 7-18 3-8 3-4 3 4 7 2 20 3 2 0 0 40-
04 Barnes, Chris....... 3-5 0-0 0-2 4 2 6 2 6 2 0 0 1 20
05 Swansey, Zac........ 5-9 1-3 2-2 0 1 1 0 13 4 4 0 4 26
10 McPhee, Ricky....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
20 Bwer, Troy........ 1-2 0-1 0-0 2 1 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 8
TEAM................ 1 1
Totals.............. 27-64 4-17 10-14 19 19 38 16 68 14 24 3 8 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-35 31.4% 2nd Half: 16-29 55.2% Game: 42.2% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-9 11.1% 2nd Half: 3-8 37.5% Game: 23.5% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 2-4 50.0% 2nd Half: 8-10 80.0% Game: 71.4% 1,2
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HOME TEAM: South Carolina 17-5, 6-3
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, Dominique... f 4-8 3-4 1-2 6 3 9 2 12 2 3 0 1 30
24 Holmes, Mike........ f 6-9 0-0 1-1 0 6 6 1 13 1 2 4 2 27
44 Muldrow, Sam........ c 7-9 0-0 4-6 5 2 7 2 18 0 2 0 0 27
02 Downey, Devan....... g 4-16 2-8 0-0 1 0 1 3 10 8 7 0 2 29
20 Fdrick, Zam....... g 5-11 3-7 0-0 0 2 2 0 13 3 4 0 3 33
05 Raley-Ross, Brandis. 1-3 0-1 1-2 0 3 3 3 3 2 2 0 0 18
14 Wilder, Robert...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
25 Steed, Austin....... 0-2 0-0 2-2 2 2 4 2 2 0 0 1 1 12
31 Baniulis, Evaldas... 2-4 2-2 2-2 0 1 1 0 8 1 0 0 2 17
55 Carter, Mitchell.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 5
TM.................. 1 1
Totals.............. 29-62 10-22 11-15 15 19 34 14 79 17 21 5 11 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-29 55.2% 2nd Half: 13-33 39.4% Game: 46.8% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 7-11 63.6% 2nd Half: 3-11 27.3% Game: 45.5% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 2-4 50.0% 2nd Half: 9-11 81.8% Game: 73.3% 2,1
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Officials: Tom Eades, Jamie Luckie, Mike Nance
Technical fouls: Georgia-None. South Carolina-None.
Attendance: 18000
Sco by Periods 1st 2nd Total
Georgia....................... 25 43 - 68
South Carolina................ 41 38 - 79
Points in the paint-UGA 40,SC 36. Points off turnovers-UGA 23,SC 24.
2nd chance points-UGA 21,SC 15. Fast bak points-UGA 8,SC 14.
Bench points-UGA 21,SC 13. Sco tied-1 time. Lead changed-2 times.
Last FG-UGA 2nd-00:33, SC 2nd-02:33.
Largest lead-UGA by 1 1st-17:58, SC by 23 2nd-17:34.
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