Gamecocks Suffer First Loss of the Season

Nov. 17, 2007

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -O.J. Mayo scored 29 points but the freshman phenom got plenty of help from Daniel Hackett, who had 22, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Southern California defeated South Carolina 85-75 Saturday night.

The game attracted 16 NBA scouts, who were on hand to see Mayo, one of the nation's top freshman and a likely future lottery pick. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Mayo did not disappoint, hitting 11 of 20 field goals, including three 3-pointers, to go with four rebounds and four assists.

South Carolina (2-1) was led by forward Dominique Archie with 20 points, 17 in the second half, while guard Brandis Raley-Ross scored all 18 of his points in the second half.

Southern California (2-1) used a 16-3 run to take command midway through the first half and led 40-30 at halftime. The Gamecocks missed all 10 of their shots and committed four turnovers during the Trojans' eight-minute surge that gave them a 31-19 lead with 5:05 remaining on back-to-back lay-ups by Hackett and Mayo.

Southern California pushed its lead to 38-24 on Keith Wilkinson's baseline jumper before the Gamecocks closed to 10 down at halftime after ultra-fast point guard Devan Downey forced three straight turnovers.

The Trojans then had to beat back several rallies by the Gamecocks in the second half.

Raley-Ross hit two straight 3-pointers to pull the Gamecocks to 57-51 with 10:29 left then was fouled after rebounding Hackett's miss. But Raley-Ross missed the front end of a one-and-one with 10:11 left and the Trojans went up 62-53 on Hackett's 3-pointer with 8:11 left.

The Gamecocks pulled to 64-59 with 5:43 left on two foul shots by Raley-Ross, but Mayo swished a 3-pointer and Taj Gibson's dunk put the Trojans up 71-61 with 2:53 left.