Falls To South Carolina 84-72 2/8/03
South Carolina (8-11, 2-7) used a season-high 59 percent
shooting to upset the Vanderbilt Commodores (10-10,
3-6) 84-72 Saturday night in Memorial Gym. Vanderbilt
sophomore Brian Thornton led all scorers with 22 points
and six rebounds.
The Gamecocks, who entered the game as the SEC’s
worst three-point shooting team at 25 percent, shot
themselves out of their slump. USC buried seven of 11
attempts from behind the arc to finish the game at 63
“Pretty sickening” was how head coach
Kevin Stallings referred to the game.
The Commodores’ Thornton sent the message early
that he came to play. Thornton scored 10 of Vanderbilt’s
first 14 points, while demonstrating his full repertoire
of post moves.
With the Commodores leading 12-9 in the early going,
the Gamecocks put together a streak that the Commodores
could not overcome. USC outscored VU 23-4 over an eight
minute span in the first half to double up the ‘Dores
USC seemed to score at will on the Vanderbilt defense
that could not stop the bleeding. The Gamecocks routinely
got good looks at the basket and nailed most of them.
The Commodores trailed 46-31 at the break after giving
USC their highest point total for a half all season.
The 11,101 at Memorial Gym knew their Commodores needed
a lift and they provided it with noise. After halftime,
the Commodores responded to the support by creating
three turnovers in the first four minutes to trim the
lead to 11. But that would be as close as Vanderbilt
would get until the game was out of reach.
Vanderbilt hits the road again to face LSU Wednesday
night in Baton Rouge, La. Tipoff is at 7 pm CT.