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Dec. 16, 2011

December 15, 2011
Coach Horn

The South Carolina men’s basketball team (4-5) is set to host No. 2 Ohio State (9-1) on Saturday in a non-conference matchup at Colonial Life Arena. Game time is set for 12 p.m., with the contest to be televised on ESPN with Mike Patrick and Len Elmore on the call.

Date: Saturday, December 17, 2011
Tipoff: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Series: Ohio State leads 2-1
Television: ESPN
Talent: Mike Patrick (pxp), Len Elmore (analyst)
Radio: Derek Scott (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Tickets: 1-800-4SC-FANS,

Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 104th season of basketball.
– South Carolina earned its second-consecutive win with a 66-58 victory over Presbyterian on Tuesday night at Colonial Life Arena. Sophomore guard Bruce Ellington led three Gamecocks in double figures with 15 points on the night. It marked his best all-around performance since his return to the court from the football field, as Ellington also dished three assists and collected one steal.
– After struggling in the first half, scoring just 19 points on 24.1 percent shooting, the Gamecocks used a stifiling full court press to score 47 points in the second half, including 10 points off of turnovers and 10 fast break points in the set. The 47 points marked a season high for points in a half for the Gamecocks.
– South Carolina ranks first in the SEC in rebounding defense, as Carolina opponents collect just 31.3 rebounds per game. The Gamecocks have out-rebounded seven of nine opponents this season.
– South Carolina prepares to play its second top-five opponent of the season when Ohio State visits Columbia on Saturday. The Gamecocks played No. 1 North Carolina on Nov. 25 in Las Vegas in their previous matchup with one of the top ranked teams in the country.
– Saturday’s matchup marks the second-straight season that the Gamecocks will play the Buckeyes when Ohio State is ranked as the No. 2 team in the country. OSU earned a 79-57 victory over South Carolina in Columbus last season.
– South Carolina is 280-266 (.511) all-time in the month of December. South Carolina earned a 4-2 mark last season during the month.
– South Carolina owns a 13-22 (.371) record against current schools in the Big Ten. Carolina’s last win over a Big Ten opponent came against Penn State on Nov. 22, 2007, competing in the Old Spice Classic. South Carolina won that contest, 74-67. The Gamecocks lost two matchups against Big Ten opponents last season, dropping a 82-73 decision at then-No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 16, before a 79-57 loss at then-No. 2 Ohio State on Dec. 18.

By The Numbers
5 – Sophomore forward Damontre Harris again matched his career high with five blocks in Tuesday’s victory over Presbyterian. Harris also collected five blocks on Dec. 4 in a victory over intrastate rival Clemson. Harris currently ranks fifth in the SEC with 2.2 blocks per game this season.
70.4% – South Carolina shot a stellar 19-27 (70.4%) in the second half vs. Presbyterian on Tuesday. It marked the highest one-half percentage for the Gamecocks under the direction of Darrin Horn. The last Gamecock squad to put together a half with a 70.0 field goal percentage or better came in a 79-71 victory over then-No. 14 Tennessee in the 2006 SEC Tournament in Nashville when Carolina shot 70.0% (14-20) in the second half to secure the win. The Gamecocks went on to win their second straight NIT Championship later that month.
11 – South Carolina’s 11 3-point field goal attempts vs. Presbyterian marked a season low. It was just an attempt more than the all-time low under Darrin Horn of 10, which has occurred on three occassions. It marked the fewest attempts from beyond the arc since 10 attempts vs. Alabama on March 11, 2010.
7 – South Carolina has registered seven or more blocks in five contests this season.
14 – Carolina’s 14 assists vs. Presbyterian matched a season high (also dished 14 in the season opener against Western Carolina).

Ohio State Series
Ohio State owns a slight 2-1 advantage in the all-time series against South Carolina. The team’s first played in Columbia in a 74-68 South Carolina win on Dec. 20, 1988. The Gamecocks returned the series the following season when the Buckeyes earned a 59-46 victory in Columbus on Dec. 21, 1989. Last season’s meeting in Columbus was the first since the 1989 campaign. Below is the complete series breakdown:

Scouting Ohio State
Ohio State enters Saturday’s contest with a 9-1 overall record after earning an 82-58 victory over USC Upstate on Wednesday … The Buckeyes rank second in the country in scoring margin, ninth in assists per game and fourth in assist to turnover ratio … Sophomore forward Jared Sullinger paces the squad in both points and rebounds per game, averaging a double-double with 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest … Sophomore point guard Aaron Craft ranks 11th in the country in steals per game, following the Upstate game where he collected five steals, he averages 3.0 per outing … Ohio State’s lone loss of the season came last weekend in a road contest at then-No. 13 Kansas.

Salute To The Military
After the men’s basketball team went “Back To Basics” at Ft. Jackson in late October, the team is excited to welcome back US Army drill sergeants and officers who made the day at Ft. Jackson possible. In-game presentations include COL Odie Sheffield, Brigade Commander for the 165th Infantry addressing the team pre-game and serving as honorary captain, while the national anthem will be performed by Tech Sgt. Steven David of the South Carolina National Guard. Special halftime presentations include honoring the drill sergeants and officers that made “Back To Basics” possible, and honoring all current military personal and veterans in attendance.

Ellington’s Game Schedule Finalized
The South Carolina football and men’s basketball staffs have finalized Bruce Ellington’s game schedule surrounding the football team’s bowl game and the upcoming men’s basketball contests. Ellington will stay in Columbia to compete with the basketball team versus Wofford on Dec. 28, and will then travel to join the football team in Orlando through the bowl game. Ellington will miss the Dec. 31 basketball contest versus USC Upstate, but is scheduled to return for the Jan. 3 contest against SC State.