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Nov. 7, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Chuck Eidson began the game with a slam dunk and went on to score 18 points while newcomer Kerbrell Brown recorded 5 steals as South Carolina downed Team Nike 80-64 in the Gamecock’s exhibition opener. Marius Petravicius added 17 points, 15 of that in the second half. South Carolina broke away in the latter half after a slim seven point lead at halftime.

“I’m happy because we won, but I don’t think we played particularly well,” commented Carolina Head Coach Dave Odom. “Once we convinced our post players that they should stay inside, we started playing well. I thought Chuck Eidson played well, same for Marius [Petravicius]. I thought Tony was quick off his feet. I know Marius was a much better player than he showed a year ago. I think we have the chance to show some real depth, especially when we get players like Rolando [Howell], Ivan [Howell] and Marcus back.”

South Carolina was slow out of the gates as Team Nike took a quick 21-14 lead over Carolina in the first half before the Gamecocks surged back to take a 25-23 lead and never looked back.

Eidson led the way in the first half, scoring 16 of his 18 points, and shooting 7-10 from the field. Eidson was 2-2 from three point range. South Carolina only committed three fouls to Nike’s seven. Tony Kitching led the Gamecocks in rebounding with five and South Carolina out rebounded Team Nike 20-17 in the first half.

Petravicius had a big second half scoring 15 points and getting five rebounds as South Carolina ran away with the game early on. Carolina went on a 17-3 run, capped off by an Eidson lay up to take a 56-38 lead. In the second half, South Carolina scored 20 points in the paint to Team Nike’s nine and USC had 19 points off of turnovers to Nike’s three.

Some new faces got a little playing time as three newcomers received 47 minutes of playing time combined. Kerbrell Brown, a junior transfer from Dodge City Community College scored two points and made a team high five steals while Nike as a team was only able to make four steals in the game.

South Carolina continues its preseason exhibition schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 13 as they host Unibanka Cesis of Latvia at Frank McGuire Arena at the Carolina Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and that is their final preseason exhibition before the Gamecocks start the 2002-2003 season on Nov. 24th in the brand-new 18,000-seat Carolina Center.