Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Feb. 17, 2009

South Carolina at Mississippi State | 8 p.m. ET
Live Stats | Live Audio audio_icon_color.gif | Game Notes icon-acrosmall.gif

South Carolina at Mississippi State

Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tipoff: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Starkville, Miss.
Arena: Humphrey Coliseum (10,500)
Series: Mississippi State leads, 11-8
Series Trend: Mississippi State has won one
Television: None
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Casey Manning (analyst)

Game Preview
South Carolina (18-5, 7-3 SEC) travels to face Mississippi State (16-9, 6-4 SEC) on Wednesday for a matchup against the Bulldogs from the SEC West. South Carolina aims to win its second-consecutive league contest on the road, while the Bulldogs look to snap a two-game losing streak. The Gamecocks look for their eighth win in SEC play, which would mark the first eight-win season in league play for Carolina since the 2003-04 campaign. The meeting against Mississippi State marks the first for Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn against the Bulldogs.

Television information
The contest will be not be televised.

Radio Broadcast Information
The game will be broadcast on the ISP Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan on the call with play-by-play and Casey Manning handling color analyst duties. The Gamecock Radio Network reaches throughout the state of South Carolina.

Scouting Mississippi State
• Mississippi State enters Wednesday’s matchup with a 16-9 overall record, including a 6-4 mark in league play. The Bulldogs have lost two straight, including a loss at home to LSU on Feb. 11 and a loss at Auburn on Feb. 14. Mississippi State is 11-4 on its homecourt this season with losses to Charlotte, San Diego, Ole Miss and LSU.

• Mississippi State lacks a big-time non-conference win this season (its most notable non-league victory came against Western Kentucky). The most notable victory for Rick Stansbury’s crew this season came in a road win at Kentucky on Feb. 3.

• Junior forward Jarvis Varnado, the reigning National and SEC Defensive Player of the Year, leads the Bulldogs with 13.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. While he ranks among the top 25 in the nation in field goal percentage (59.1), he proves himself as one of the most prolific shot blockers in college hoops in recent seasons, averaging just under five blocks per game (4.9). Vernado paces the SEC and the nation in that cateogry, while Mississippi State also leads the nation in team blocked shots per game with 8.2 per outing.

• Sophomore guard Ravern Johnson provides 12.1 and 3.4 rebounds per contest, while he’s joined in the backcourt by freshman guard Dee Bost. Bost, who has started all 25 games as a rookie for the Bulldogs, paces the squad with 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game, while he also adds 11.0 points per game.

Scouting South Carolina
• South Carolina, winners of six of its last seven games, enters Wednesday’s matchup at Mississippi State with an 18-5 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in SEC play. The Gamecocks are currently tied with Kentucky and Tennessee for first place in the SEC East.

• South Carolina looks for its third road victory in conference play this season. The Gamecocks have not recorded three road league victories in a season since doing so during the 2004 campaign – Jan. 10 at Georgia (84-63); Jan. 14 at Auburn (53-51 OT); Jan. 28 at Vanderbilt (57-55).

• Junior point guard Devan Downey leads a Gamecock offense that averages 80.2 points per game with 19.9 per outing. Downey also paces the squad with 4.4 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Downey has tallied double digits in 22 of 23 games this season, including scoring 18 in the most recent victory over Alabama on Saturday. From a statistical standpoint, Downey tallied one of his top games of the season against the Crimson Tide, posting 18 points, while collecting five rebounds, dishing five assists and swiping six steals.

• Sophomore forward Mike Holmes was the hero in South Carolina’s victory over Alabama, connecting on a tip-in with just tenths of a second remaining on the clock to give the Gamecocks the 75-73 edge over the Tide. Holmes provides 11.3 points per game, while he leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per outing. He recorded his fifth double-double of the season and the ninth of his career against Alabama, posting 12 points and 10 boards in the contest.

• After struggling in recent games, junior guard Brandis Raley-Ross picked up his play against Alabama, shooting 5-of-8 from the floor, including a 2-of-4 effort from beyond the arc for an SEC season-high 13 points in the victory against Alabama. The double-digit effort marked his fourth-career double-digit performance in league play.

20-Win Season In Sight
South Carolina is on pace for its first 20-win season since the 2005-06 campaign. With six regular-season games remaining, South Carolina secured at least a winning record in the regular season after capturing its 16th win of the campaign versus Vanderbilt on Jan. 28.

10-Game Benchmark
South Carolina owns a 7-3 mark in SEC play thus far in 2009, its best start since also beginning league play with a 7-3 record during the 1998 conference campaign. The most wins ever amassed in a single SEC campaign came in 1997 when Carolina finished league play with a 15-1 record (only loss at Georgia).

Gamecocks Clutch In Final Seconds
Following the buzzer-beater victory against Alabama on Saturday, South Carolina has defeated four opponents this season in similar fashion.
• The streak started with a Zam Fredrick layup – assist to Mike Holmes – with just five seconds remaining on the clock, to propel South Carolina to an upset victory over then-No. 19 Baylor on Jan 2. The win marked the first non-conference road win over a ranked opponent for South Carolina since the 1997 season.
• With one buzzer-beater on the year, Fredrick pulled off another stellar Gamecock finish to clinch a 70-69 victory over then-No. 24 Florida on Jan. 21. Fredrick collected yet another game-winning assist from Holmes – a quarterback style pass on a missed Gator free throw – then dropped the ball in the hoop for the game winner as time expired
• Junior guard Devan Downey dribbled, drove and placed a floating jump shot over Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks to clinch a historic Gamecock victory over the Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Jan. 31. Downey’s jumper gave the Gamecocks a 78-77 victory over then-No. 24 UK – just the second Gamecock win ever at Rupp Arena.
• Having already earned the game-winning assist on two Gamecock buzzer-beater wins, sophomore forward Mike Holmes etched his name in the history book by tipping in the the game winner with just tenths of a second remaining on the clock in 75-73 South Carolina victory over Alabama on Feb. 14.