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Dec 3, 2003

Box Score

Associated Press Writer

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Renaldo Balkman scored 15 points and Carlos Powell added 13 as South Carolina beat The Citadel 70-38 on Wednesday night.

The Gamecocks have their first 7-0 start since Frank McGuire’s eighth year with the team in 1971. They also have won 50 of the last 52 over the Bulldogs (2-2), whose last win in the series came 88-87 in Columbia in 1989.

The Citadel shot just 15-of-66 (22.7 percent), missed all but one of its 25 3-point attempts and had 21 turnovers. It was the worst shooting night for a South Carolina opponent all year.

It was South Carolina’s best defensive game since losing to Maryland 31-30 in overtime in 1971. The Citadel hadn’t scored this few points since losing 57-35 to North Carolina State in 1980.

Brandon Wallace scored 10 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in his first-ever start. He replaced Kebrell Brown, who has been indefinitely suspended as he catches up on his classwork.

Max Mombollet had 14 points for the Bulldogs, while J’Mel Everhart had five points and 11 rebounds.

South Carolina ended the first half on a 34-10 run that started when The Citadel defense lost Tarence Kinsey, who snuck in for a dunk to tie it at 8 with about 11? minutes to go in the half. An angry Bulldog coach Pat Dennis called a time-out, but his team’s problems were just starting.

The Gamecocks scored 21 straight points and held the Bulldogs scoreless for more than eight minutes and without a field goal for 11 minutes. The Citadel shot just 7-of-30 (23.3 percent), missed all nine of its 3-pointers and turned the ball over 16 times in the first 20 minutes.

It would have been worse for the Bulldogs if seldom-used reserve Aaron Xia hadn’t entered the game. The freshman scored six points in two minutes after scoring just four points in his first four games.

Meanwhile, all nine Gamecocks who played in the first half scored, quieting the couple of hundred cadets – some in their uniforms, some in “McAlister Maniac” T-shirts – who packed a couple of sections of the stands.

By the second half, the cheerleaders were often the only people rooting out loud for the Bulldogs. In fact, the crowd only got riled up after Powell hung on the rim and was called for a technical and when Everhart dunked in the face of Paulius Joneliunas a few minutes later.

Wednesday’s game was South Carolina’s first true road game. The Gamecocks won two games in Kansas City, Mo., in the finals of the Guardians Classic. They won just one game on an opponent’s floor all of last season.

But the road now gets tougher for South Carolina. The Gamecocks go to Clemson to play their archrival on Saturday, then take off for Philadelphia to take on Temple on Dec. 15.