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Feb. 7, 2009

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Post-Game Press Conference video-icon-blue.gif | Watch the Game video-icon-blue.gif

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Sam Muldrow scored a career-high 18 points and South Carolina knocked down 10 three-pointers en route to a 79-68 victory over the visiting Georgia Bulldogs before a sellout crowd of 18,000 Saturday night at Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina (17-5, 6-3 SEC) moved into second place in the SEC Eastern Division with the victory, passing Tennessee, who lost at Auburn earlier in the day, and Kentucky, who was idle.

The Gamecocks are 5-0 at home in SEC play for the first time since the 1997-98 season when they went 7-1 in conference games.

It was the second sellout in the seven-year history of Colonial Life Arena, which previously saw every ticket sold for a March 3, 2004, contest against Kentucky.

Muldrow, who missed the entire non-conference portion of the season, has been a major contributor in SEC play so far and continued to step up Saturday. The sophomore from Florence, S.C., shattered his previous career-best of 12 points as he poured in 18 on 7-of-9 shooting. The 6-9 forward also had seven rebounds in a season-best 27 minutes of action.

In all, five South Carolina players finished in double-figures, led by Muldrow’s 18. Mike Holmes and Zam Fredrick had 13 apiece, Dominique Archie added 12 and Devan Downey had 10.

Archie went 3-for-4 from three-point range and finished one rebound shy of a double-double, adding nine rebounds, two assists and a steal in the winning effort.

Downey struggled from the field (4-of-16) but managed to score 10 points, adding eight assists and a pair of steals. Downey has hit double-figures in 21 of 22 games for South Carolina this season.

Georgia (9-14, 0-8 SEC) scored the first basket of the game, but the Gamecocks went on a 21-3 run over a five-minute stretch early in the first half and never looked back. Georgia could trim the margin to no closer than nine points the rest of the way. The Gamecocks led 41-25 at halftime, mostly thanks to a 7-for-10 effort from three-point range in the opening period.

Both sides had their share of sloppy moments as well. South Carolina committed 21 turnovers while forcing 24 by the Bulldogs. The Gamecocks, however, showed improvement at the free-throw line, knocking down 11 of 15 attempts (73.3%).

South Carolina is idle during the midweek slate of SEC games and will hit the floor again next Saturday at Alabama. Game time is set for 3 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum.