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Nov. 30, 2005

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Tarence Kinsey scored 20 points and Renaldo Balkman added 16 points and seven rebounds as South Carolina defeated UNC-Greensboro 77-55 Wednesday night.

The Gamecocks (5-1), who ran their record to 28-1 against nonconference foes in four years at the Colonial Center, scored 37 points off 22 turnovers by the Spartans – one shy of their season high.

It was also the most turnovers forced this year by South Carolina, which had a season-high 15 steals.

Up by a dozen at halftime, South Carolina outscored the Spartans 16-5 in the first six minutes of the second half to stretch its lead to 55-32 with 13:32 left on back-to-back buckets by Kinsey .

UNC-Greensboro (3-3) was led by 6-foot-11, 240-pound junior Bart Tooms, who scored a career-high 15 points, including two 3-pointers. Tooms was 1-for-6 from beyond the arc this year coming into the game.

The Spartans were without three players, including starting guard Ricky Hickman, who is second on the team in scoring at 17.3 points a game. Hickman and freshmen guards Derrick Bernard and Marc Campbell were suspended before the game by coach Mike Dement for “team rules violations,” the school said.

Hickman and Campbell will serve a one-game suspension while Bernard’s status will be re-evaluated later.

The Gamecocks scored 25 points off 13 turnovers to take a 39-27 halftime lead over the Spartans, who were outscored 8-0 in the first 2:24 and trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half.

UNC-Greensboro outrebounded South Carolina 21-10 but managed just five second-chance points – the same number as the Gamecocks.

South Carolina led 23-7 with 14:13 left, but the Spartans went on an 11-2 run to pull within seven with 8:16 left on a fastbreak layup by Toms, who had six points in the surge.

But the Gamecocks responded with nine straight points to go up 36-20 after a layup and two foul shots by Tre Kelley after Dement was called for a technical with 4:06 left.