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Feb. 28, 2006

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Glen Davis scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lift No. 21 LSU to a 64-61 victory over South Carolina on Tuesday, giving the Tigers at least a share of the Southeastern Conference title.

Davis, the SEC’s leading scorer, was held to just six points in the opening half, but LSU (21-7, 13-2) pounded the ball inside in the second half to capture its first league title in six years.

The Gamecocks (14-14, 5-10) lost another close one, which has been typical of their season. Tarence Kinsey led South Carolina, which has lost four straight, with 21 points.

The Gamecocks had a chance late in the game trailing by two, but Kinsey was called for traveling. Tasmin Mitchell made a free throw with 26.3 seconds to go to put LSU ahead 62-59.

South Carolina tried to find Kinsey for a 3-pointer on its next possession, but couldn’t and Rocky Trice missed from beyond the arc. Brandon Wallace tipped in the rebound, but Davis made two free throws to seal the win.

Tre Kelley’s desperation 3-pointer from midcourt at the buzzer was well short.

The teams traded the lead several times during the second half with Kinsey and Davis going back and forth for nearly a nine-minute stretch.

Davis scored 14 points during an 8:47 stretch, but Kinsey answered with 14 points of his own, including four 3-pointers. South Carolina took a one-point lead with 2:38 to go on a 3-pointer by Kinsey, but Davis’ basket with 2:15 remaining put LSU up for good. Mitchell added several key free throws down the stretch.

The Gamecocks led by as many as 10 points in the first half after Kelley found Wallace on a couple of key baskets, including an alley-oop that put South Carolina ahead 28-19 with 5:13 remaining.

After Kinsey’s 3-pointer put the Gamecocks up 31-21 with 4:22 to go, South Carolina went the rest of the half without a basket until Wallace’s 3-pointer at the buzzer.

They continued the drought in the second half, going more than five minutes without a basket.