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January 31, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)- South Carolina’s Jamel Bradley added a 3-point record to an already amazing career.

Bradley, who lost 80 percent of his hearing as a youth, scored a season-high 22 points and set the school for career 3-pointers as the Gamecocks won their fourth straight over Georgia, beating the 16th-ranked Bulldogs 80-67 Wednesday night.

Since signing with the Gamecocks, the senior has been fitted with digital hearing aids that have given him an appreciation of the daily sounds many of us take for granted.

His story has been spread nationally most recently by Sports Illustrated. ESPN’s Curry Kirkpatrick was in town Tuesday and Wednesday or an ESPN SportsCenter feature, which will run for the first time in the Feb. 5 sports show at 6 p.m.

“I pretty much don’t let the attention get to me,” said Bradley, who led the United States to a gold medal at the Deaflympics this past summer. “In the back of my mind, I know it means a great deal that I’m getting the attention. But people just don’t realize that I put my focus just on the team.”

There was no mistaking the cheers that Bradley heard at the Carolina Coliseum with each of his 3-pointers. His five long-range baskets gave him 219 and moved him past BJ McKie, who had 215 from 1996-99, on South Carolina’s career list.

Bradley didn’t gloat or chest-pump when he broke the record. He simply went down court and got into his defensive position.

“That exemplifies the character of Jamel Bradley,” backcourtmate Aaron Lucas said. “The feature story was one of those positions he was put in. He enjoys reaching out to that community and it’s important. But once game time comes, he just tunes that out and gets on with business.”

Ezra Williams, the SEC’s leading scorer, was limited to 10 minutes in the first half after picking up three fouls and scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half for Georgia (16-5, 5-3), which lost its second straight on the road.

Williams’ 3-pointer with 13:21 left brought the Bulldogs within 50-48. But he was on the bench after picking up his fourth foul when the Gamecocks took control.

“Everybody knows we’re a good team,” said Jarvis Hayes, who led the Bulldogs with 21 points. “And they come out and give us their best shot every night. We have to be prepared for it or there will be more games like this.”

Center Marius Petravicius hit two foul shots and two baskets, forward Tony Kitchings made an inside shot and Bradley canned a 3-pointer before Kitchings closed things with a basket as South Carolina went up 63-48 with 8:00 to go.

“Our post players have taken a lot of grief from me,” South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. “This may have been their best play.”

Williams made a 3-pointer – Georgia’s first field goal since his last one nearly six minutes earlier – and had a three-point play with 2:03 left to get the Bulldogs within 72-64. But Kitchings had a tip-in and South Carolina was never in danger the rest of the way.

Chuck Eidson had 17 points, Kitchings 11 and Howell 10 for the Gamecocks, who have won their past eight home games against Georgia.

Bradley’s previous season-high was 21 points in a November loss to UCLA.

As Bradley, from Beckley, W.Va., left the court, Georgia coach Jim Harrick stopped the senior.

“I told him I was from Charleston and that we had a West Virginia thing going on,” Harrick said.

Bradley was simply glad he helped South Carolina to its biggest victory of the season.

“Everybody says records are made to be broken,” he said. “Pretty much I play the game I know I can play and that’s to help this team.”