Moore’s 3-pointer Sinks Gamecocks in Overtime

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COLUMBIA, SC -- A freshman gave Clemson’s seniors their first win over South Carolina.

Freshman Cheyenne Moore’s 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds left in overtime ended Clemson’s 4-game losing streak to South Carolina. Moore’s shot gave the Tigers (4-1) a 63-62 win on Saturday night at the Colonial Center in Columbia.

“There was never a doubt when it left his hands,” said Clemson coach Oliver Purnell.
“He never hesitated. It was a smooth shot.”

Moore was 2-15 on 3-pointers before he beat the Gamecocks. “We had been waiting for him to start knocking them down,” said Purnell. “What a perfect time.”

The Gamecocks built a 55-51 lead in overtime, but a deep 3-poitner by Shawon Robinson cut the lead to 57-56. Cliff Hammonds tied the game 60-60 with a 3-pointer with 1:23 left in overtime.

USC’s Carlos Powell hit two free throws with 13.7 seconds left to give the Gamecocks a 62-60 lead. However, Moore’s shot downed the Gamecocks on the Tigers next trip down the court.

“It was one heck of a college basketball game,” said Purnell. “Our defense was as good as it’s been over a long period of time. We kept pressure on them all night long.”

The Tigers had a chance to turn the game into a rout early, but struggled nearly as much as the Gamecocks did on offense. It took nine minutes for the Gamecocks to get its third point of the game, but the Tigers were only able to build a 10-point lead at that point, which wasn’t enough to put a dagger in the heart of the Gamecocks.
South Carolina scored just two points in the first nine minutes of the game, but the Tigers didn’t do much better, scoring just five points before a Cliff Hammonds 3- pointer gave the Tigers an 8-2 lead with 13:26 left in the first half. A Vernon Hamilton layup gave the Tigers a 10-2 lead, and the Tigers stretched the lead to 13-3 on a Moore layup with 9:42 left in the half. But missed free throws prevented the lead from growing and likely played a part in the outcome.

Clemson still held a 10-point lead after a Robinson 3-pointer put the Tigers up 26-16 with 2:12 left in the first half. However, the Gamecocks were able to eat into the lead before the half and reverse any momentum the Tigers had.

Two free throws and a layup by Renaldo Balkman cut Clemson’s lead to 26-22 with 1:03 left in the half. Hammonds’ free throw with 31 seconds left in the half gave the Tigers a 27-22 halftime lead.

Clemson led 27-22 at the half and still led 30-26 before Balkman hit a free throw to start a 5-0 run that gave South Carolina a 31-30 lead after a Brandon Wallace jumper with 13:30 left. It was South Carolina’s first lead of the game and they eventually built a 45-39 lead after a jumper by Carlos Powell with 6:30 left in the game.

Despite the two Clemson seniors leaving the game early (Olu Babaloloa fouled out with 3:30 left and Sharrod Ford fouled out with 1:25 left) Clemson came back to tie the game 49-49 with 1:09 left on a runner by Robinson.

After Roderick Trice missed a 3 pointer for USC with 45 seconds left in the game, Clemson came back down with a chance to take the lead. Robinson hit two free throws to give Clemson a 51-49 lead with 19.4 seconds left.

After a timeout, Kelly drove down the right side of the lane and hit a runner to tie the game with 4.7 seconds left and send the game to over time.

Robinson had 18 points and Hammonds finished with 17 to lead the Tigers in scoring.

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