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Nov. 21, 2003

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Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina’s new pressure defense is doing things no other Gamecock team has done.

South Carolina (3-0) forced a school-record 30 turnovers and tied a school record with 14 steals as they beat Navy 73-40 Friday night.

It was a team effort. Eight of the 13 Gamecocks who played picked up at least one steal.

“We’re covering for each other,” coach David Odom said. “If one gets beat, someone else covers.”

Michael Boynton scored 15 points and Tarence Kinsey had 14 points as South Carolina held an opponent to the fewest points since losing to Maryland 31-30 in overtime in 1971.

Navy (0-1), who only returned one starter and had six players dressed who have never played in a college game, was too young to handle the pressure, coach Don DeVoe said.

“We were outmanned on every position on the floor,” said DeVoe, whose team shot just 16-of-51 (31.4 percent). “This is a real spanking.”

Jeff Charles led Navy with 13 points and eight rebounds and Kwame Ofori added 10 points. It was the fewest points for Navy since scoring 40 in a loss to Penn State in 1979.

The Midshipmen were trailing 15-13 with just under 14 minutes to go in the first half when they unraveled.

In one four-minute stretch, Navy turned over the ball six times, including throwing it away after calling two-straight time-outs because the Midshipmen had trouble throwing the ball in. The Gamecocks would score 40 points off turnovers.

Over the rest of the half, South Carolina pressured Navy into 12 turnovers and 4-of-16 shooting. Charles got all the Midshipmen’s points as the Gamecocks finished the half on a 21-9 run.

Things didn’t get any better after the break as Navy turned the ball over in each of its first two possessions of the second half.

The Midshipmen got as close as 41-31 after scoring on three straight possessions with about 14 minutes left in the game. But then the turnovers returned _ seven of them over the next 5? minutes _ and the Gamecocks started making highlight reel plays like Kinsey’s monster jam on the break that brought a crowd already pumped by a pre-game pep rally for South Carolina’s football game with Clemson Saturday to its feet.

The Midshipmen would only hit two more field goals the rest of the way as the Gamecocks finished on a 32-9 run.

“We can’t score points, then we score them in flurries,” Odom said. “I don’t know if I like it, but the crowd sure does.”

South Carolina’s 3-point shooting cooled off as the Gamecocks shot just 27.3 percent (6-of-22) from behind the arc. They had been shooting 42.2 percent (19-of-45) coming into Friday’s game.

Kinsey has been the Gamecocks’ breakout star this season. The sophomore has scored 49 points in three games this year after scoring just 43 points in all of his freshman season.

“I just feel more confident out there,” Kinsey said. “I just don’t worry about the crowd anymore.”

Carlos Powell had 11 points, Renaldo Balkman added 10 points and Josh Gonner also scored 10 points for South Carolina.

Navy takes on Belmont next Monday, while the Gamecocks play Southwest Missouri State in the semifinals of the Guardians Classic next Monday in Kansas City, Mo. Richmond plays San Francisco in the other semifinal.

“It’s time for us to move up,” Odom said.