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Feb. 14, 2007

Box Score

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt’s Derrick Byars scored a career-high 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting in a 78-68 win over South Carolina on Wednesday night.

Vanderbilt (17-8, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) was 11-of-24 from 3-point range and had three other scorers in double figures — Shan Foster and Alex Gordon with 14 each, and Dan Cage with 11.

South Carolina (12-12, 2-9) jumped out to a 12-4 lead behind the duo of Dominique Archie and Bryce Sheldon, who had 12 and 10 first-half points respectively.

The Commodores blanketed Tre’ Kelley, the SEC’s leading scorer in league games, by double-teaming him for most of the first half.

Byars carried a slow-starting Vanderbilt offense with 19 first-half points, 12 of those in a 30-13 Commodore run that gave Vandy a 34-25 lead.

But the Gamecocks’ Kelley got free for two quick 3-pointers, then added a pair of free throws and a 2-pointer to cut the Vandy lead to 37-35 at halftime.

Vandy built the lead to 48-40 early in the second half, but the Gamecocks took a 57-55 lead on a layup by Brandon Wallace, who had a game-high 13 rebounds.

Byars followed with a 3 and Vandy never trailed again. Alex Gordon’s two 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, the last one giving Vanderbilt a 66-61 lead, were key down the stretch as Carolina never got within five again.

Kelley had 21 points, Sheldon 18 and Archie 15 to lead the Gamecocks.