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March 1, 2003

Box Score | Quotes

Associated Press Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Carlos Powell set career highs with 21 points and seven assists as South Carolina beat Vanderbilt 76-64 Saturday.

Chuck Eidson added 18 points, and Rolando Howell had 13 points as the Gamecocks (12-13, 5-9 Southeastern Conference) ended a two-game losing streak.

Matt Freije led the Commodores (10-15, 3-11) with 22 points. Brain Thornton had 13 points and nine rebounds for Vanderbilt, which has lost seven straight.

Vanderbilt started the second half on an 8-0 run to take 36-30 lead, but the Gamecocks’ Chris Warren then buried two 3-pointers, as South Carolina would score on seven of its next nine possessions.

Eidson, Howell and Powell, who hit all 11 of his free throws, would account for the rest of the scoring during the 22-7 run. By the time Eidson buried his third 3-pointer of the game, South Carolina led 52-43 with 7:24 to go.

Vanderbilt has been a good cure for the Gamecocks, who also broke a seven-game losing streak last month by beating the Commodores 84-72 in Nashville.

The win keeps South Carolina in the hunt for a NIT bid with a trip to Alabama and a home game with No. 21 Georgia to close out the year.

Vanderbilt is winless in 10 road games this year with a trip to No. 2 Kentucky coming up Wednesday. The loss guarantees the Commodores at least a tie for last place in the SEC East.

Neither team led by more than four in a back-and-forth first half. Vanderbilt turned the ball over nine times, but stayed in the game by outrebounding South Carolina by nine, including a 5-1 advantage on the offensive glass in the first 20 minutes.

The Commodores would end the game with a 37-26 advantage on the boards. It is the first time this season Vanderbilt has outrebounded an opponent and lost.