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Feb. 26, 2010

The South Carolina men’s basketball team (14-13, 5-8 SEC) will host Mississippi State (20-8, 8-5 SEC) on Saturday at Colonial Life Arena. The contest will be televised on ESPN with tip off set for 6 p.m. Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes have the call, while fans can also listen to Andy Demetra and Casey Manning on the Gamecock Radio Network.


Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Tipoff: 6 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Series: Mississippi State leads 13-8
Television: ESPN
Talent: Brad Nessler (pxp), Jimmy Dykes (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
(107.5 FM – Columbia/
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Live Stats:
Tickets: Tickets are available via the Gamecock Ticket Office (1-800-4SC-FANS)

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 102nd season of basketball.
– The Gamecocks will play two of their final three regular season contests at Colonial Life Arena.
– Carolina head coach Darrin Horn faced Mississippi State in his third-career game as a college head coach at the BB&T Classic, hosted by Western Kentucky, on Nov. 29, 2003. The Bulldogs won that contest 81-75.
– In Horn’s one-plus seasons at South Carolina, the Gamecocks are 12-9 in games following a loss.
– South Carolina has never lost consecutive home games under Horn.
– South Carolina ranks 10th in the nation in turnover margin (4.3 – Feb. 25 NCAA stats).
– SEC Player of the Year and All-America candidate, Devan Downey has scored 20 or more points in 12 of the last 15 games, and has tallied 30 or more in five SEC contests this season. He was just two points shy of his sixth 30-point effort of league play with 28 points at Arkansas on Feb. 17.
– Carolina is 11-5 this season in games in which it scores at least 70 points.
– Downey (22.9 ppg) leads the team and the SEC in scoring in overall games this season. He has led or shared the team lead in scoring 22 times, including 17 of the last 18 games. He ranks fifth in the nation in points per game (as of Feb. 25 NCAA stats).
– Downey’s 2.9 steals per game lead the league and rank first in the nation.
– The backcourt duo of Downey and Raley-Ross average 39.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.6 steals per contest in league play.
– Carolina’s 6.4 blocked shots per game rank third in the SEC in overall games, behind Mississippi State’s 8.1 and Kentucky’s 7.1, and 11th in the nation. Junior forward Sam Muldrow paces the Gamecocks with 3.1 blocks per game, second in the SEC and 11th in the nation.
Sam Muldrow’s 85 blocks are the fourth-most in a single-season in Carolina history and the most since Brandon Wallace had 86 blocks during the 2006-07 campaign.
– South Carolina is 6-9 this season when trailing at the half, including a 4-5 mark when trailing at the half in SEC play.
– South Carolina owns an 80-70 (.533) record all-time in SEC homes games.
– Darrin Horn-led teams are 90-17 (.841) all-time in home games. South Carolina is 27-6 (.818) at Colonial Life Arena under Horn’s direction.
– South Carolina holds a +14.3 scoring margin in games it has won this season.
– The Gamecocks are in their 19th season of competition in the Southeastern Conference. Carolina owns a 121-180 (.402) all-time record in SEC play.
– Darrin Horn-led teams are 72-35 (.673) all-time in league play. Horn led Carolina to a 10-6 record in SEC action during his first year in Columbia.
– South Carolina is 427-426-1 (.501) all-time in the month of February. In that, the Gamecocks are 49-87 (.360) all-time in SEC games during the month.
– The 2009-10 Gamecocks are six blocks shy of having the third-highest block total for a single season. The 2003-04 squad is currently third with 177 total blocks.
– South Carolina is 11-3 in games played at Colonial Life Arena this season, scoring 78.0 points per game in those contests. Downey paces Carolina with 23.1 points in home games.
– The Gamecocks are 4-2 in conference home games this season with wins over LSU, then-No. 1 Kentucky, Georgia and Florida.

By The Numbers
– 4 – Devan Downey needs just four steals to surpass Chuck Eidson (272) for the Gamecock record for career steals. Eidson played at South Carolina from 1999-03. He ranks 35th in Carolina history with 1,067 career points.
– 16 – Freshman forward Lakeem Jackson tallied 16 points vs. Kentucky on Thursday – 14 of which came in the second half. Jackson was three points shy of matching his season high. He also led Carolina with three steals vs. the Wildcats.
– 0 – South Carolina’s bench did not score a point vs. Kentucky on Thursday. The first time all season the Gamecock bench has failed to score. Carolina’s bench has provided just five points combined in the last three games (two at Arkansas, three vs. Tennessee, zero at Kentucky).
– 8.8 – Devan Downey averages 8.8 made shots per SEC game this season. To compare, Carolina’s second-highest scorer in league play, Brandis Raley-Ross, averages 4.0.

Mississippi State Series Information
– Mississippi State holds a 13-8 upperhand in the all-time series against South Carolina, including a 5-4 upperhand in games played in Columbia.
– The Gamecocks and Bulldogs met twice last season, with MSU claiming a 75-70 victory at Humphrey Coliseum during the regular season, and then an 82-68 victory in the second round of the SEC Tournament in Tampa.
– Mississippi State has won three straight in the series, including their last visit to Colonial Life Arena, a 61-56 overtime win on Feb. 23, 2008.