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Dec. 12, 2011

December 12, 2011
Coach Horn

The South Carolina men’s basketball team (3-5) returns from a nine-day break for final exams to host Presbyterian (4-4) in non-conference action at Colonial Life Arena on Tuesday. Game time for the contest is set for 7 p.m., with the game to be televised on SportSouth.

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Series: South Carolina leads 30-7
Television: SportSouth
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Eddie Fogler (analyst)
Radio: Derek Scott (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)

Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 104th season of basketball.
– South Carolina’s contest vs. Presbyterian marks its first in the last nine days due to a break for final exams. The Gamecocks will play three games – vs. PC, vs. No. 2/2 Ohio State and vs. SE Louisiana – prior to the holiday break.
– Sophomore guard Bruce Ellington posted the winning point on two clutch free throws with 13.0 seconds on the clock, and R-senior forward Malik Cooke sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 6.7 on the clock in a 58-55 victory at Clemson on Dec. 4. Sophomore guard Eric Smith also sank a crucial jumper with 25.9 on the clock to propel the Gamecocks to their first win at Clemson since the 2003 campaign.
– Sophomore point guard Bruce Ellington made his return to the practice court with the Gamecock hoops team on Nov. 28. Ellington is also a member of the Gamecock football team. To date, Ellington has scored two touchdowns this season, including a 49-yard reception for a score vs. Clemson on Dec. 4. He posted six points in his first game back with the men’s basketball team vs. Providence on Dec. 1.
– Freshman forward Anthony Gill ranks among leaders in the SEC in field goal percentage (56.8%) and sophomore guard Eric Smith ranks among league leaders in 3-point field goal percentage (48.3%).
– In games it has won this season, South Carolina holds a +10.7 scoring margin over its opponents. To compare, in games in has lost, Gamecock opponents score 8.6 more points per game.
– The Gamecocks have out-rebounded their opponent in six of eight contests this season
– South Carolina is 279-266 (.511) all-time in the month of December. South Carolina earned a 4-2 mark last season during the month.
– Following Tuesday’s matchup vs. Presbyterian, South Carolina will host No. 2/2 Ohio State on Saturday in a nationally-televised contest on ESPN. Game time is set for Noon.
– South Carolina’s contest vs. Ohio State will mark the second top-five opponent for Carolina this season, as the Gamecocks played then-No.1 North Carolina on Nov. 25 in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.

By The Numbers
13-8 – South Carolina out-scored Clemson 13-8 over the final five minutes of the contest on Dec. 4 to earn the victory. That number included a perfect 4-of-4 effort from the free throw line, with both Ellington and Cooke hitting two attempts with under 30 seconds remaining.
5 – Sophomore forward Damontre Harris matched his career high with five blocks against Clemson, including four in the second half.
20+ – South Carolina has used very balanced minutes throughout the season thus far, with eight Gamecocks averaging 20 or more minutes per game, with just Malik Cooke averaging above the 30-minute mark at 30.5 minuter per game.

Presbyterian Series
South Carolina owns a 30-7 upperhand in the all-time series with Presbyterian, including a 21-4 mark in games played in Columbia. Tuesday’s meeting against PC marks just the second between the two schools since the 1947 campaign. The Gamecocks and Blue Hose met consistently from 1917-47, before meeting again in 2008 after nearly 60 years. The Gamecocks won the 2008 meeting 75-56. Below is a breakdown of the last 10 meetings:

Scouting PC
Led by long-time head coach Gregg Nibert, PC enters Tuesday’s contest with a 4-4 overall record, including a 1-1 mark in Big South play after most recently earning a 72-64 victory over Radford … The Blue Hose also suffered a 59-56 loss to Winthrop in league play … The squad is paced by R-Sr. Al’Lonzo Coleman with 15.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game … Coleman and R-Sr. guard Josh Johnson led the Blue Hose during the 2008 meeting against the Gamecocks with 13 points each … Junior guard Khalid Mutakabbir also contributes double-digits for PC, averaging 14.8 points per game … PC ranks fourth in the Big South in scoring defense (68.0) and second in free throw percentage (71.4).

Injury Update
South Carolina sophomore guard Brenton Williams is available to play vs. Presbyterian after missing the last several weeks with a left knee sprain.