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Jan. 10, 2003

USC will travel to play in Kentucky’s SEC opener in Lexington on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. The game, at Rupp Arena, will be on SEC-TV. Both teams are coming off SEC wins Wednesday night, with USC defeating Mississippi 55-49 and Kentucky winning at Tennessee, 74-71.

The Wildcats are 10-3 on the year and 1-0 in the SEC. USC lost both regular season games last year to UK (50-51 at USC, 74-91 at UK), but the Gamecocks gathered revenge with a 70-57 win over the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament. It snapped UK’s 12 game winning streak over USC. USC had six players score in double figures – a season high – and limited UK to just 31.1 percent from the floor.

The Kentucky game will be carried on the radio airwaves by the Gamecock Sports Network. Charlie McAlexander (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (color) will call the action on more than 25 stations in the Palmetto State and world-wide on the internet at

The game will also be shown on SEC-TV with Dave Neal making the call as the play-by-play announcer and Barry Booker acting as the color analyst.

tale of two halves

Against Mississippi, USC only scored four points in the first 15 minutes of the first half and went in the lockerroom trailing 15-13 (shooting 27.8% in the first half). But USC came roaring back to score 42 points and shoot 53.8 %, with Carlos Powell scoring 13 of his 15 points in the second half.

USC Head Coach Dave Odom was particularly pleased with his team’s play on Wednesday night: “We didn’t allow ourselves to lose the game in the first 15 minutes,” said Odom. “We played great defense – like Mississippi.”

“We were able to move the ball offensively. It was a hard fought basketball game, and one that we were very, very pleased to win, and were fortunate to win,” added Odom.


Gamecock fans and coaches alike were pleased with the play of Tony Kitchings, who came off the disabled list after missing eight games with a broken hand to play 36 minutes against UM and score a season-high 11 points.

“I’m very pleased with Tony (Kitchings). I think he played 36 minutes. That’s a lot of minutes for anybody,” said Odom. “It was made possible because we didn’t ask him to chase people around. He was able to stay under the basket the whole time. For the first night, I don’t think we could have asked any more.”

Kitchings, who also started the game, also added four rebounds, three assists, one block and two steals against Mississippi.

Prior to his return, Odom talked about what good cardio shape Kitchings had gotten into while rehabbing his hand. The redshirt senior from Aiken, S.C., had nine points and led Carolina with 11 rebounds in the opener vs. East Tennessee State. He was injured four minutes into the South Carolina State contest, breaking the third and fourth metacarpals in his left (shooting hand). Kitchings had surgery Monday, Dec. 2 to insert a pin in one metacarpal and a plate in the other.


The Gamecocks play two of their next three games at home, hitting the road Sat., Jan. 11 for a televised contest at Kentucky. After that home swing, USC will play four of its next five games on the road – hosting Kentucky on Feb. 1, but traveling to the following: Mississippi State (Jan. 22), Tennessee (Jan. 29), LSU (Feb. 5) and Vanderbilt (Feb. 8).