Oct. 16, 2004
Montreal, Canada – Ending its Canadian trip on a high note with a 3-0 record, USC scored 106 points to defeat Concordia University by 33 points (106-73). USC will return home Sunday night to Columbia. The Gamecocks will take a few days off before returning to a regular in-season practice schedule on Thursday, Oct. 22.
“This trip ended exactly like we wanted. We came up here and nobody got hurt everyone got to play a lot of minutes and we played an enormous amount of basketball. We have good athleticism, good basketball ability and good instinct and because of that we have a chance to have a really good basketball team this year,” said USC Head Coach Dave Odom. “We’ve got some players now. Some of our guys are playing on instinct, they really don’t know all the offense and how to do it all, but overall we got done what we wanted to do. Overall, with the exception of a few minutes, we played like we needed to and we saw what each player can do. I am not as concerned about the combinations but each player contributed to the team effort.”
USC led by Bradon Wallace, who scored 21 points (3-3 from three-point line) with six rebounds and four blocked shots. Also scoring in double figures were Tre Kelley (13), Stephen McDowell (11), Paulius Joneliunas (10), Tarence Kinsey (11) and Renaldo Balkman (13). Kelley and Balkman each had four steals.
“We got a chance to work on a bunch of things – rebounding, offensive rebounding, everything,” said Balkman. “Despite what is going on around us, when we get on the court, we really play. I wanted to try to do the things to help in different areas. We will get back to Columbia, take a few days off and then get back to getting ready for the regular season.”
As a team, USC shot 62% from the field, while CU shot 37.9%. From beyond the three-point arc, USC shot 61.1% to CU’s 47.1%. USC collected 41 rebounds to the Stingers 17, while USC blocked six shots and the Stingers had none. USC added 13 steals to CU’s eight.
Starting its third straight different line-up in Canada, USC put Kelley, Josh Gonner, Carlos Powell, Balkman and Joneliunas on the floor first.
In the first half, USC got out to a 12-4 lead before Concordia scrapped back to put within Concordia within one and two, respectively at 12-11 and 17-15. USC then went on a 19-0 run before CU caught its breath. USC took a 25 point lead into the lockerroom, leading 54-28. Wallace was simply amazing, scoring 14 points, including two three-pointers with four rebounds and two blocks. Kelley and Balkman both added seven points each Rocky Trice and Joneliunas pulling down four rebounds each. USC shot 61.1% to the Stingers 31.4%. USC shot 80% (8-10) from beyond the arc to CU’s 37.5% (3-8). USC also won the battle of the boards by a decisive margin in the first half, pulling down 24 to CU’s seven.
In the second half, USC continued to build on its 25-point lead. The over-flow crowd seemed to be more thrilled at times with the Gamecocks’ slam dunks than its own team – with dunks by Josh Gonner, Balkman and Tisby bringing the crowd to its feet. USC shot even better in the second half, hitting 62.9% of its shots.