Feb. 29, 2008
South Carolina, 12-15 and 4-9 in the SEC, travels to Auburn, 14-12 and 4-9 in the SEC, for a 6 pm (EST) game on Sat., March 1. The away team has won the last five times the two tangled. Auburn won 80-75 in Columbia in the two team's last meeting on Jan. 31, 2007. The Gamecocks were led by Evka Banilius' career-high 21 points as he hit five of eight from beyond the arc.
The South Carolina-Auburn game can be see on Fox SportsSouth and heard on the Gamecock Radio Network. It will also featured on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel No. 123. It can also be picked up via the internet at www.gamecocksonline.com.
USC is 3-2 vs. the SEC Western Division this season after falling in overtime to SEC Western Division leader Mississippi State in overtime on Sat., Feb. 23 (61-56) and then LSU on Wed., Feb. 27, 62-55. Zam Fredrick came off the bench for the Gamecocks to score 21 points in the game vs. the Tigers. Auburn has lost seven of its last nine games including an 89-78 game at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs shot 60% in the same game which featured all five of their starters in double-figures. The Tigers were led by Quan Powell's 31 points and eight rebounds.
Carolina has three players averaging double figures: Devan Downey (19.2), Zam Fredrick (15.0) and Dominique Archie (10.7). Downey leads the team with 5.1 apg and 3.2 spg. Sam Muldrow leads with 1.5 bpg. Archie leads the team with 5.7 rpg and Mike Holmes is second at 5.2 rpg. Brandis Raley-Ross is hitting a team-high 53.8% of his three pointers (35-65) and Downey is knocking down a team-high 75.9% of his free throws (85-112).
Downey has a team-high 30 points vs. PSU on Nov. 22 and Holmes had a team-high 16 rebounds vs. N.C. State on Nov. 23.
Auburn leads the series record with USC 17-11. USC and Auburn have traded wins on the opponents floor the past five years with Auburn winning in Columbia Jan. 31, 2007 (80-75). The last nine AU-USC games have been decided by a combined 37 points (4.1 ppg).
Lebo is 3-1 vs. USC as his Tennessee Tech team defeated Carolina 73-67 in Columbia in the 2000-01 season opener. Overall, Lebo is 6-1 against USC, including a 3-0 mark as a Vanderbilt assistant coach in 1992-93.
In the latest NCAA stats, USC is No. 5 in the country in turnovers (Thur., Feb. 29). USC is ranked in the top 50 in three other categories: No. 20 in fouls per game, No. 22 in assist-turnover ratio and No. 46 in three-pointers per game.
USC turned the ball over just four times vs. LSU, while the Tigers handed the ball over 14 times. It was the fewest turnovers for the Gamecocks since they turned it over four times in the 83-61 win over Mississippi State on Feb. 11, 2006. The Gamecocks turned the ball over a then-season-low six times vs. Alabama compared to the Tide's own 18 turnovers.
USC has forced double-digit turnovers against every opponent this season except two (9 against both vs. USC and vs. Florida). Penn State let the ball fall into Gamecock hands a season-high 21 times, Campbell turned it over 20 times, Arkansas and Mississippi State fumbled it 19 times and Radford and Alabama turned it over 18 times. Opponents are turning the ball over an average of 14.4 times a game with USC is averaging just 10.5 turnovers a game.
USC has turned the ball over 10 times or fewer in 15 games, including the last seven of the last nine games (4 vs. LSU; 6 vs. Alabama; 9 at UK, vs. UGA and vs. Vandy; 10 at UGA and at UF; 11 vs. MSU and 12 at Ole Miss).
Rewind to LSU
The following are a few notes from the LSU game.
LSU was the 25th team to post double-digit turnovers this season when it turned the ball over 14 times. USC has had 25 of 27 games with 5+ steals this season.
Six of Carolina's last seven games at home have been decided by 7 points or less including four that have been decided by 3 or less.
Carolina hit all seven free throw attempts against the Tigers. It marked the second time this season that they hit 100% from the free throw line. (Vanderbilt, 1/9/08).
The four turnovers by the Gamecocks were their lowest total this season and their lowest total since committing 4 against Mississippi State on March 9, 2006. The four are the least by the Gamecocks in a SEC regular season contest since they turned it over 4 times vs. Vandy (March 2, 2005).
Dominique Archie hit double figures for the 16th time this year and 31st time in his career. He scored the first seven points of the second half for USC (19:35 - 15:39).
Brandis Raley-Ross started in place of Zam Fredrick vs. LSU. It was Fredrick's first non-start in 39 games (26 at USC, dating back to the Ga. Tech game at Wake Forest in 2005-06). It was Raley-Ross' 22nd career start and his 10th start this season (first since UC-Irvine 12-28-07).
Sam Muldrow scored his first points since January 30, 2008 against Georgia.
Zam Fredrick scored in double figures for the 22nd time this season and the first time since scoring 15 at Georgia on Feb. 13, 2008. It was his seventh 20+ point game this season. His last 20+ point game was on Jan. 30, 2008 when he scored 23 against Georgia. Fredrick has 11 4+ assist games including 4 vs. LSU.
Mike Holmes has 12 6+ rebound games this season. He had a career-high 4 steals.
Devan Downey has 10 6+ assist games with a high of 11 vs. The Citadel (11-12-07). Downey scored only 6 points against the Tigers which is his lowest point total in a game this season. It marked the 2nd time this season that he did not score in double digits.
Wait one minute!
USC is 8-8 in games decided by seven points or less this season. Taking a closer look, USC is 5-5 in games decided by three points or less.
The Gamecocks have lost four games this season that they were winning with a minute remaining (George Mason, UNC Asheville, then-No. 20 Vanderbilt and MSU). But, USC has also won two games it was losing with 60 ticks left (at then-22 Ole Miss, vs. Alabama).
With a 12-15 record, USC has had a number of close calls. With two minutes on the clock, USC has played 17 games where five points or less separated the winner and the loser. USC is 7-10 in those games. With one minute left, there have been 16 games where five points separated by the winner and the loser. USC is 6-10 in those games.
Lineup card: Dominique of course!
Dominique Archie has started every game of his career after red-shirting his freshman year, starting 57 straight - including 30 last season and 26 this year - tying former All-SEC forward Marius Petravicius. Petravicius started all 32 games his freshman year and missed one start - game No. 26 vs. UT (Feb. 27, 2001) - his sophomore year to start 61 of the team's 62 games his first two seasons.
Archie has quite a mountain to climb to set the school record owned by BJ McKie (1995-98) and Melvin Watson (1995-98). They both started 116 games during their careers.
More Number Notes
Carolina has scored 40+ first half points in five home games this season. (SC State, The Citadel, Campbell, Baylor, Radford). Last year USC scored 40+ in only eight halves total. USC also scored 52 in the second half of the C of C game.
The Gamecocks have at least 5 steals in all, but two games this season. After 27 games last season, the Gamecocks had 5+ steals in just 11 games. In 11 of its games this season, USC has finished with 9+ steals per game. During its season-high 15 steals vs. The Citadel, Devan Downey lead the charge with a season-high six steals. Raley-Ross added two and Sam Muldrow, Zam Fredrick, Chad Gray, Branden Conrad, Rob Wilder, Dwayne Day and Mike Holmes each picked up one. USC grabbed 14 steals vs. Alabama with Downey leading the charge with 7 steals, Fredrick collected three, Raley-Ross two and Archie and Holmes both one.
Sam Muldrow, the cousin of former All-SEC Gamecock forward Carlos Powell, leads the team with 1.5 bpg. He blocked six shots vs. Tennessee on Jan. 12 which topped his five blocked shots vs. Campbell on Nov. 28. It was the most for a freshman since Renaldo Balkman blocked five shots on Feb. 11, 2004 vs. Mississippi State. He followed up that performance with 4 blocks at Clemson.
The Gamecocks are scoring eight ppg more than they were last year at this same time. USC is averaging 72.7 ppg and have hit 74+ points in 11 games this year. After 27 games last year USC was averaging 64.7 ppg.
Carolina is holding opponents to just 34.2% from three-point range on the year, including Georgia, who shot 4-27 from beyond the arc (14.8%), The Citadel who shot 3-29 from beyond the arc (10.3%) and Penn State who went 4-25 for a 16% showing. Last season opponents averaged 35% from the three point line. Likewise USC is hitting better than 37.4% of its 3 point attempts with Brandis Raley-Ross leading the charge in the SEC at 53.8%.
The Gamecocks played four games at two neutral sites this season (three in Orlando at the Old Spice Classic and one in Philadelphia at the Pizza Hut Big East-SEC Challenge). It is the most USC has played on a neutral court early in the season since it played four of its first 7 regular season games in 1998-99 (two in Indianapolis and two in Charlotte).
The Gamecocks have made at least one 3-pointer in 195 consecutive games since they went 0-19 vs. Mississippi State on March 2, 2002 - a 64-57 loss. They have also had at least one block in 113 consecutive games since they went block-less on Jan. 15, 2005 in a 66-63 win vs. Tennessee.
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