COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina concludes the regular season at Vanderbilt on Saturday in the second meeting between the two schools in 2013. The Commodores posted a 58-51 victory in January at Colonial Life Arena. The contest will be televised on the SEC Network (check local listings) set for a 1:47 p.m. ET start time. Fans can also listen on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network via GamecocksOnline.com and on 107.5 The Game in Columbia with Andy Demetra (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (analyst).
OPENING TIP Date: Saturday, March 9, 2013 Tipoff: 1:47 p.m. ET Location: Nashville, Tenn. Arena: Memorial Gymnasium (14,316) Series: Vanderbilt leads 27-24 (Vandy leads 14-10 in Nashville) Last Meeting: Vanderbilt win, 58-51 on Jan. 19, 2013 in Columbia, S.C. Broadcast: SEC Network Talent: Joe Davis (pxp), Barry Booker (analyst) Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network Sirius: None; XM: None Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) Tickets | @GamecockMBB | Live Stats | ESPN3 | GameNotes | SEC Network Affiliates
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 105th season of basketball.
- The Gamecocks are led by first-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Brad Underwood and his assistant coaches are Matt Figger and Lamont Evans. Andy Assaley is the director of basketball operations.
- The Gamecocks are in their 22nd season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2013. Carolina owns a 133-220 (.376) all-time record in SEC play.
- Junior guard Brenton Williams set a South Carolina SEC regular-season record with a career high 38 points to propel the Gamecocks to a 79-72 win at Colonial Life Arena over visiting Mississippi State on Wednesday to even the season series against the Bulldogs. Williams hit 10-of-17 attempts from the floor, including 6-of-9 from three point range, all career highs for the Kissimmee, Fla., native. Senior forward Lakeem Jackson pulled down a team high eight rebounds.
- The win vs. Mississippi State snapped a seven-game Bulldog win streak in the series with South Carolina.
- Senior guard Shane Phillips led the Gamecocks with two steals in his first-career start on Wednesday.
- Did you know? South Carolina posted a 77-73 win at Vanderbilt on Senior Day on March 6, 2010. The victory marked Carolina's last win at Memorial Gym.
- The Gamecocks recently suffered a 74-56 loss on the road at Texas A&M despite the contest being tied at 32 at halftime. Carolina shot 47.8 percent (11-23) in the opening half, but just 29.2 percent (7-24) in the second half. Overall in the contest the Aggies hit 53.7 percent (29-54) from the floor.
- Freshman forward Michael Carrera has led the team in scoring in six and in rebounding in eight of the last 11 games, averaging 10.9 points and 7.3 rebounds during the stretch.
- Freshman walk-on guard Brian Steele had a stellar week in practice prior to the Texas A&M contest and was awarded with his first-career start. He scored three points, collected two rebounds and swiped one steal. His 3-point basket with just seconds remaining in the first half tied the contest at 32, which held through halftime. Steele followed with six points and two assists in the start vs. Mississippi State.
Williams Sets Scoring Records
Junior guard Brenton Williams scored a career high 38 points to lead the Gamecocks in the victory vs. Mississippi State on Wednesday, which marked a new South Carolina record for points scored in an SEC regular season contest, and a new Colonial Life Arena record. It marked the first 30-point performance for a Gamecock since then-freshman Bruce Ellington posted 31 at Furman on Dec. 22, 2010, and the most points in a game since Terry Dozier also netted 38 in an 86-85 win over Florida State on March 3, 1987, 26 years ago to the day, in the Metro Conference Tournament. Williams hit 10-of-17 attempts from the floor, including a 6-of-9 mark from 3-point range and a 12-of-12 effort from the free throw line. The 38 points matched Texas A&M's Elston Turner for the second-most scored by a player from the SEC this season.
The Commodores suffered a 66-40 loss at Florida on Wednesday, but had won their three previous games - at Mississippi State, vs. Georgia and at Auburn. Vandy enters Saturday's contest with a 13-16 overall record, which includes a 7-10 mark in SEC play. VU is currently ranked 10th in the league. Sophomore guard Kedren Johnson paces the team with 13.7 points per game and 3.6 assists per outing. The Gamecocks held Johnson to just three points in the meeting at Colonial Life Arena in January. Vandy ranks third in league play in field goal defense, holding opponents to just 60.1 points per game and the Commodores' 7.9 made 3-point baskets per game ranks second. The team is led by head coach Kevin Stallings in his 14th season.
Vandy holds a 27-24 edge in the all-time series with South Carolina, including a 14-10 upperhand in games played in Nashville. Vandy has won four straight games in the series, with Carolina's last win an 83-75 overtime victory early in the 2011 SEC campaign.
By The Numbers 18 - South Carolina dished 18 assists on 21 made baskets in Wednesday's victory over Mississippi State. It marked the most assists in a game for Carolina since dishing 20 against Auburn on Jan. 12. 6 - Junior guard Bruce Ellington matched a season high for the second straight game with six assists vs. Mississippi State. Over the course of the last five games, Ellington is averaging 9.0 points and 4.4 assists per game. 28 - South Carolina's 28 made free throws vs. Mississippi State matched a season high, which was set earlier this season in the overtime victory at LSU. 12-of-12 - Junior guard Brenton Williams hit all 12 of his attempts from the free throw line this season. Both the attempts and makes marked career highs for Williams. He has hit 39-of-44 (88.6%) attempts from the line in SEC play this season. 7 - South Carolina committed a season low seven turnovers vs. Vanderbilt on Jan. 19. It marked just the third time this season that the Gamecocks have committed single-digit turnovers in a game. 23.7% - The Gamecocks 23.7 percent (14-59) from the field vs. Vandy on Jan. 19 marked a season low in the category.