Gamecocks Overpower Bulldogs, 92-67
Devan Downey scored 24 points to lead the Gamecocks. (File Photo)
 
Devan Downey scored 24 points to lead the Gamecocks. (File Photo)

Nov. 9, 2007

 
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Devan Downey tied his career high with 24 points and South Carolina improved to 16-0 against South Carolina State with a 92-67 victory Friday night.

Downey played for the first time since transferring from Cincinnati after the 2005-06 season and did not disappoint the Colonial Center crowd with his debut.

He had 18 points in the first half as South Carolina (1-0) led 55-28. Downey closed it with a fade-away three.

Downey kept it up after the break and matched his top scoring performance set Dec. 14, 2005, against Ohio.

Downey's performance spoiled the coaching debut of South Carolina State's Tim Carter, hired last April after Jamal Brown was let go because of the what the school said were Title IX violations.

Chris Miller-Williams led the Bulldogs with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Downey was a prep star from Chester, but left his home state to play for Bob Huggins at Cincinnati. Huggins, though, was forced out before Downey's first season.

Still, Downey averaged 11.9 points a game under interim coach Andy Kennedy and made the Big East Conference's all-rookie team.

When Kennedy wasn't kept by the Bearcats, Downey joined the Gamecocks. He watched from the bench while the Gamecocks struggled to a 14-16 mark.

If Downey can keep this up all season, it shouldn't happen again.

He continually pushed the Gamecocks, who scored as many points in the opening half this time as they did in beating the Bulldogs 55-52 a year ago.

Downey also showed he planned to be South Carolina's emotional leader, too.

When freshman Sam Muldrow hustled back on defense to block Thomas Bookman's layup, Downey rushed up to congratulate the big man, shouting his approval and pumping his fist.

Downey was 10 of 19 and added seven assists.

The Gamecocks broke out to a 13-2 lead. Then, after South Carolina State cut things to 15-9, Downey had two baskets in a 16-0 run that put the Gamecocks ahead 31-9 and essentially ended the game.

Downey wasn't the only impact transfer for South Carolina.

Zam Fredrick II, whose father, Zam, led the nation in scoring with a 28.9-point average as a Gamecock senior in 1981, hit both 3-pointers in the opening half.

Fredrick finished with 14 points.