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Dec. 20, 2006

Final Stats | Quotes | Notes

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -Tre Kelley scored 24 points – including 13 consecutive – while Bryce Sheldon added 15 points as South Carolina held off Princeton 54-48 on Wednesday night.

The Gamecocks (7-2) led by as many as 16 points in the second half, but the Tigers (7-4) cut the deficit to 51-48 with 1:56 left on Lincoln Gunn’s 3-pointer.

But Dominique Archie slammed a dunk off a pass from Kelley with 1:19 left to clinch the victory.

South Carolina closed the first half on a 17-5 run that started with three free throws and included three buckets by Kelley, including a twisting, driving layup at the buzzer that gave the Gamecocks a 35-22 halftime lead.

Kelley scored the Gamecock’s first 11 points of the second half.

Princeton (7-4) closed to within 4 points behind a 12-3 run that included 3-pointers by Koncz, who led the Tigers with 19 points, and Gunn, plus a 3-point play by Marcus Schroeder that cut the lead to 46-42 with 6:52 left.

But Archie hit a bucket – the first in the second half by anyone other than Kelley – and Sheldon nailed a 3-pointer from the wing after a Princeton turnover to give South Carolina a 51-42 lead with 4:33 left. But the Tigers rallied again, pulling within 3 points before the Gamecocks held on for the win.

The game marked the first appearance of 6-foot-7 freshman forward Chad Gray, who was admitted to South Carolina on Friday. Gray was denied admission this summer but went to a local community college to bolster his academic resume.

Gray came on with 2.5 seconds left and received a standing ovation from the crowd. The game ended with Gray running down Kelleys miss of foul shot for his first college rebound.