Feb. 22, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - South Carolina suffered a 59-48 loss on the road at Vanderbilt on Wednesday in SEC play. Sophomore guard Bruce Ellington led the Gamecocks with 15 points in the contest.
Both teams struggled offensively in the game, as South Carolina (10-17, 2-11 SEC) hit 32.7 percent (18-55) from the floor and Vanderbilt (20-8, 9-4 SEC) hit 38.5 percent (15-39). Ellington led the Gamecocks with 15 points and four assists, while freshman guard Damien Leonard added 10.
South Carolina was outstanding defensively on the night, holding one of the league's top scoring teams to just 59 points and just 25 percent (4-16) from 3-point range.
Vanderbilt was led by junior guard John Jenkins with 21 points, while Lance Goulbourne added 12 and Festus Ezeli 14 points and five blocks. Vanderbilt shot 28 free throws in the contest, compared to just four attempts from the line for Carolina.
The teams traded baskets to open the contest, including an offensive rebound and put-back by redshirt-freshman forward Carlton Geathers with just under 15 minutes to play. A dunk by Gamecock sophomore forward Damontre Harris saw the contest tied at 14-14 at the 10:36 mark before both teams struggled to find the basket midway through the half.
Ellington scored South Carolina's final eight points of the opening half, including consecutive 3s to give Carolina a 20-18 lead with 4:20 on the clock. He added a layup seconds later, and Goulbourne tallied the final four points of the half for Vandy as the contest was tied at 22-22 at the half.
Neither team led by more than five points in the opening half, and the Gamecocks hit 39.1 percent (9-23) from the floor, compared to 34.6 percent (9-26) from Vandy.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the second half. Two free throws by Harris early in the second half saw South Carolina take a 27-26 lead, but Vandy responded, using an 11-5 run to take a 37-32 upperhand with 14:12 remaining in the game.
South Carolina struggled to find the basket for a four-minute stretch before the four-minute mark, which allowed Vanderbilt to extend its lead to 48-38 after two free throws from Ezeli with 4:19 remaining.
Ellington followed with a layup at the opposite end seconds later, but the Gamecocks were called for their 10th foul soon after to put Vanderbilt in the double-bonus for the second half. Solid free throw shooting late in the contest by Vandy saw the Commodores earn the 59-48 victory.
South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena to host Tennessee on Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, with the contest to be televised on FSN.
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