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Dec. 14, 2004

Box Score | Notes


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Renaldo Balkman scored nine of his career-high 17 points in the second half as South Carolina rallied to beat South Florida 72-70 on Tuesday night.

The Bulls (5-4) closed within 71-70 on Terrence Leather’s 3-point play with 28.6 seconds left. Leather led South Florida with 24 points.

With the Gamecocks (5-1) up 72-70 after Carlos Powell hit one of two foul shots, Brian Swift drove the lane only to have Brandon Wallace block the shot into the stands with 4.1 seconds to go.

Then Swift launched a 3-pointer from the corner with about 1.5 seconds left over a leaping Rocky Trice. The ball bounced toward halfcourt, where Wallace grabbed it – and the victory.

South Florida scored the first six points of the second half and upped its lead to 51-43 with 14:30 left as Leather sandwiched a 3-point play and a fastbreak layup around Marius Prekevicius’s 3-pointer.

But South Carolina countered with a 17-4 run in which Balkman had seven points and Antoine Tisby had the go-ahead bucket with 7:58 left and a short jumper that capped the run and gave the Gamecocks a 60-55 lead with 6:31 left.

Despite being out shot 62.5 percent to 50 percent, South Carolina led 40-35 at halftime thanks to 15 points off turnovers and 12 points apiece from Tre Kelley and Josh Gonner.

The Gamecocks didn’t take their first lead until Kelley scored a 3-pointer with 6:39 left to make it 26-23 in the first half. Kelley’s play was part of a 16-3 run that pushed South Carolina’s lead to 35-26 on a bucket by Carlos Powell with 4:26 left.

The Gamecocks pushed their lead to 40-29 on a 3-pointer by Gonner, but 3-pointers by James Holmes and Swift just 32 seconds apart pulled the Bulls back within five at intermission.