Dec. 1, 2007
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - K.C. Rivers scored 24 points and had eight rebounds to lead No. 18 Clemson to an 85-74 win over South Carolina on Saturday.
Rivers stopped a couple of Gamecocks runs in the second half with key shots, helping the Tigers win their seventh consecutive game to start a season for the third straight time. They've also beaten their bitter in-state rival four times in a row.
Clemson never trailed, and looked ready to blow this one out when its lead reached 19 early in the second half. But the Gamecocks (4-4) kept battling back, trailing 75-67 after Devan Downey's driving bucket with 2:46 to go.
On the next possession, Demontez Stitt came out of a scrum with the ball and an easy layup for the Tigers, and after forcing Downey into a bad shot, Rivers found an open lane to the basket and dunked to put Clemson ahead 79-67.
Poor shooting and bad defense at times did South Carolina in. The Gamecocks made just 1-of-8 3-pointers in the first half and trailed by 17.
Brandis Raley-Ross hit three 3-pointers in the first 4:10 of the second half to help South Carolina from falling even more behind. But Clemson would score on its first seven possessions of the half, all on dunks or lay-ups, to increase its lead by two.
Trevor Booker had 15 points and 11 rebounds to help replace James Mays, who is out with a hip injury. Cliff Hammonds added 13 points to end his career against South Carolina without ever losing to the Gamecocks.
Zam Fredrick led all scorers with 28 points, while Downey added 19.
Rivers had 17 of his 24 points in the second half. He stopped a key Gamecock run about midway through with a 3-pointer and a short jumper to put Clemson ahead 65-51 with 8:19 left.
The Tigers came out running and pressing in this one, making four of their first five shots and forcing three turnovers in the three minutes to take a 10-2 lead.
The Gamecocks settled down for a bit, but Dominique Archie got a technical arguing a foul call. Stitt hit both free throws for the Tigers and Rivers followed with a 3-pointer. On the next possession, Booker muscled inside for a basket and Clemson was ahead 29-14.
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