Gamecocks Topple Tigers, 76-59

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Ed Scott was the scoring leader for the Tigers with 21.

Columbia -- The largest crowd ever to see a men's basketball game in the state of South Carolina (17,072) watched two South Carolina runs put away the Tigers Wednesday night. The Gamecocks started the game with a 12-0 run and then outscored the Tigers by 16 in the final 5:50 to finish off the Tigers, 76-59.

Clemson (12-7) never took a lead on the Gamecocks (8-11) due to some timely 3-pointers by Chuck Eidson and Chris Warren. Even a 3-pointer by Clemson big man Chris Hobbs couldn’t shake the lead from South Carolina.

Clemson had whittled a South Carolina 12 point advantage to one at 50-49 with 5:50 left to go in the game. South Carolina’s leading scorer Carlos Powell then hit his only shot of the night on a long three pointer late in the shot clock. The Tigers were never able to recover. South Carolina missed just one free throw down the stretch and Clemson was unable to find an answer offensively.

“With the rut we started in I’m proud of the battling back,” said Clemson head coach Larry Shyatt. ”I’m very disappointed in the results because with five minutes in the game we could have seized the moment and knocked a couple of shots down in a game we never led.”

The Tigers shot just 39 percent from the floor and never could find a presence inside. Edward Scott scored 21 and Ole Babalola added 12, but Thomas Nagy was the only Clemson big man that made a contribution on offense. He scored 8 points while Chris Hobbs had 5 and Ray Henderson had just two points.
South Carolina’s scoring was more balanced with Eidson leading four players in double figures. Eidson scored 20 while Warren added 17, Tony Kitchings scored 14 and Rolando Howell scored 10.

The Gamecocks shot 46 percent from the floor, including 35 percent from 3-point range. Clemson had, until Wednesday night, found a few answers for its woes defending the perimeter.

Clemson, which is fighting for an NIT berth hosts North Carolina on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Littlejohn Coliseum.

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