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Jan. 14, 2006

Final Stats | Quotes | Notes

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Levi Stukes’s 3-pointer as time expired in overtime lifted Georgia to a 64-61 victory over South Carolina on Saturday.

Stukes led the Bulldogs (11-5, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) with 20 points, including six of 14 3-pointers.

The Gamecocks (9-7, 0-3) led by two before Mike Mercer’s baseline jumper as the shot clock expired with 47.3 seconds to go tied it up.

Mercer then knocked the ball away from Tre Kelley at halfcourt, setting up the final possession for Georgia.

Sundiata Gaines then penetrated and kicked it back out to Stukes, who hit nothing but net over an onrushing Renaldo Balkman as the Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak to the Gamecocks.

South Carolina was led by Balkman, who came off the bench to score 14 points.

The Bulldogs scored 11 straight points early in the second half behind a trio of 3-pointers – two by Stukes – to erase a four-point halftime deficit and go up 39-34.

But Balkman scored seven points to spark a 9-0 run that gave the Gamecocks a 43-41 lead with 12:37 remaining on Balkman’s layup off an inbounds play. After that, there were seven lead changes and three ties as the teams headed into overtime.

Brandon Wallace’s three-point play with 1:17 remaining in regulation gave South Carolina a 55-54 advantage, but Gaines hit one of two foul shots 12 seconds later to tie it.

Both teams had a chance to win at the end of the second half. But Gaines missed a jumper just inside the top of the key with about five seconds left and Tre Kelley missed desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Georgia ran out to a 15-7 lead as the Gamecocks committed eight turnovers in the first 9 minutes. But South Carolina committed just two turnovers the rest of the first half and put together an 18-5 run to grab a 32-28 halftime lead.