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Dec 22, 2002

Box Score

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Ronnie Clark scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half as Colorado State remained unbeaten at home with an 81-67 victory over South Carolina Sunday.

Clark was 6-of-7 shooting and 5-of-7 from the free throw line in the second half when Colorado State (9-2) erased a seven-point halftime deficit. Andy Birley and Matt Williams added 14 points each for the Rams, who are 9-0 at home and have won five straight overall.

Rolando Howell led South Carolina (5-4) with 21 points and eight rebounds. Carlos Powell had 14 points and Chuck Eidson scored 13 for the Gamecocks, who were outrebounded 40-28 and lost for the fourth time in their last five games.

Trailing by seven at the half, the Rams caught South Carolina at 44-44 with an 11-2 run. After Matt Williams tied the game at 49-49 the Gamecocks pulled ahead 55-49 partly fueled by Powell’s 3-pointer.

Colorado State capped a 6-0 run with a fadeaway jumper by Matt Williams with 7:14 left to lead 63-58. Baskets by Chris Warren and Howell kept the Gamecocks within striking distance at 65-62, but Clark and Williams converted two free throws each and Clark added a short jumper to give the Rams breathing room, 69-62, with 4:54 left.

Howell’s rebound basket got South Carolina as close as 71-64, but Colorado State sealed the game by converting 7 of 8 free throws in the final 1:41.

South Carolina shot 57 percent in the first half and opened the game with a 9-0 run. Johnson’s 3-pointer and Birley’s layup off his own steal tied the game at 17-17.

Colorado State took its biggest lead of the first half after Birley’s 3-pointer and Clark’s dunk setup by Birley’s steal. The Gamecocks closed the half with a 13-2 run with four coming from Howell to lead 40-33 at halftime.