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Nov. 20, 2009

The Gamecock men’s basketball team (3-0) continues play at the Charleston Classic on Friday with a 9:30 p.m. matchup against South Florida (3-0) at the Carolina First Arena. The contest will be televised on CSS, while fans can access the game on the radio via the Gamecock Radio Network affiliate in respective areas across the state.

South Carolina Game Notes vs. South Florida Get Acrobat Reader

La Salle Contest Recap
– South Carolina kicked off the Charleston Classic with a 78-68 victory over La Salle. After a slow start to the contest, Carolina out-scored the Explorers 14-6 in the final 4:41 of the opening half, and put together a 13-4 run in the first five minutes of the second half to pull away.
– Carolina had four players in double figures for the third consecutive contest, with senior forward Dominique Archie pacing the squad with 17, 12 in the second half . Archie also collected a team-best seven rebounds.
– With junior forward Sam Muldrow in foul trouble early, junior forwards Mike Holmes and Johndre Jefferson played solid inside for the Gamecocks. Holmes finished the contest with 15 points, while Jefferson posted a floor-high five blocks, including four in the first half.
– Senior guard Brandis Raley-Ross is living up to his “SEC Sixth Man of the Year” title this season. Raley-Ross is averaging 14.5 points per contest over the last two games – double his average from a year ago. Raley-Ross hit all four South Carolina’s 3’s against La Salle. It was his highest point total in a game since also dropping 16 against the College of Charleston on Dec. 22, 2007 – a span of 45 games.
– South Carolina shot a stellar (17-of-30) 56.7 percent from the floor en route to 40 second-half points against La Salle. The mark was Carolina’s best single-half shooting percentage since hitting 17-of-25 (68.0%) in the second half vs. Presbyterian on Dec. 23, 2008.
– The Gamecocks dished 15 assists against La Salle, led by senior point guard Devan Downey with five. It marked the second-consecutive contest that Carolina has collected at least 15 helpers. South Carolina finished last in the league last season with just 11.0 assists per contest. Through the first three games of 2009-10, the Gamecocks average 15.0 assists per game – fifth in the SEC.

Scouting USF
– Augustus Gilchrist tallied a game-high 21 points, including 15-of-16 from the charity stripe in South Florida’s opening-round victory over Davidson at the Charleston Classic on Thursday. Dominique Jones collected a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards for the Bulls, while also dishing six assists. Gilchrist and Jones combined for 29 of USF’s 37 second-half points.
– South Florida drained just 20 buckets against Davidson, its lowest total of the season.
– The Bulls have scored between 65-67 points in all three of their contests this season, with a season-high total of 67 in their season-opening victory at SMU. South Carolina averages 19.3 points per game more than USF entering Friday’s contest.

Series Breakdown
– The Gamecocks own a 2-1 upperhand in the all-time series against South Florida. The teams have not met since a 72-70 Carolina win on Dec. 14, 2004. Renaldo Balkman led all Gamecock scorers with a then-career high 17 points in the contest.

Star Watch
– Star watch for the South Florida contest falls on senior forward Dominique Archie. Archie has led Carolina in scoring and rebounding for two consecutive contests, while he needs just 9 points to become the 41st member of the South Carolina 1,000 point club.

– South Carolina has four players currently averaging double-figures entering Friday’s contest vs. South Florida, led by Dominique Archie (16.7), Devan Downey (15.7), Mike Holmes (13.7) and Brandis Raley-Ross (11.7).
– Seven Gamecocks average at least 19 minutes per contest, while four average at least 21. All 12 South Carolina players have seen action in every game this season so far.
– Carolina won its third-straight contest to start the season for the second-consecutive year. The win marked the Gamecocks’ first in a regular-season tournament since defeating Penn State 74-67 in the opening contest at the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 22, 2007.
– South Carolina’s bench has accounted for 61 points over the course of the past two games (31 vs. Georgia Southern, 30 vs. La Salle), with Brandis Raley-Ross scoring 29 of those points.