South Carolina Rally Falls Short Against Georgia, 60-56
Feb. 12, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Sam Muldrow set the school record for career blocks and Georgia (17-7, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) nearly blew a 23-point lead, but Trey Thompkins - who scored a game-high 16 points to go with nine rebounds - blocked Bruce Ellington's 3-pointer to tie with six seconds left to hang on for the 60-56 victory over South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena.
The Gamecocks (13-10, 4-6) scored just nine points in the first half, four points lower than their previous low of 13 for a half in SEC play. But they ended the game on a 32-13 run to nearly pull this one out.
Sam Muldrow had four blocks, setting a career record at South Carolina with 251 blocks. He also scored 13 points, all in the second half.
Muldrow picked up the Gamecocks career block record when he blocked a shot by Chris Barnes on a dunk attempt with about eight minutes to go to beat Brandon Wallace's record of 249 blocks and move into the top 10 in the SEC career list.
The Gamecocks made just 4-of-28 shots in the first half, but shot 45.2 percent in the second half and made 14 straight free throws at one point to get back into the game.
The Bulldogs looked to have put this one away with an 11-2 run after South Carolina cut its deficit to 14 points with 15:22 left. Dustin Ware and Travis Leslie hit 3s, then Thompkins added a lay-up and another 3-pointer to put Georgia up 47-24 with 11 minutes left.
But South Carolina then went on a 23-7 run that started with a layup by Malik Cooke and three free throws by R.J Slawson. By the time Muldrow hit his second 3-pointer of the game and Bruce Ellington made his first bucket, the Gamecocks were only down 54-47 with just under five minutes to go.
Cooke hit a layup and Muldrow hit two free throws and Georgia was ahead just 57-55 with 1:26 to go. But Jeremy Price answered with two free throws and South Carolina never had a chance to tie until Ellington's 3 was blocked.
Ellington, South Carolina's leading scored at 14.7 points a game, scored just two points, but seemed hobbled for most of the game with a hurt calf. Cooke added 15 points and Slawson added eight points.
Georgia dominated the first half, scoring the first eight points of the game before Lakeem Jackson's fastbreak layup with 13:22 to go in the half cut the Bulldogs lead to 8-2. Jackson would be the only starter for the Gamecocks to score in the first half.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.