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Nov. 23, 2012

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – The South Carolina men’s basketball team continues play in the Hoops For Hope Classic on Saturday, facing the Missouri State Bears at 7 p.m. ET. Below are game notes and details for the non-conference contest.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012
Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Arena: Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center
Series: South Carolina leads 1-0
Last Meeting: South Carolina win, 77-64 on Nov. 24, 2003 at the Guardians Classic in Kansas City, Mo.
Television: None
Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network (98.5 WOMG in Columbia, Sirius: 137; XM: 199
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
@GamecockMBB | | Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Saturday’s Game
South Carolina continues play in the Hoops For Hope Classic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this weekend, beginning with a 7 p.m. ET matchup vs. Missouri State on Saturday. The meeting marks just the second all-time between the two schools, with Carolina winning the previous meeting. The games in Puerto Vallarta will not be televised, but Gamecock fans can listen on 98.5 WMOG on Saturday (due to the Carolina football game broadcast on 107.5 The Game) and follow live stats via

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina suffered its first loss of the season to Elon on Wednesday night, 65-53. After shooting over 50 percent from the field in each of its previous two games, Carolina managed to hit just 32.1 percent of its shots in the contest, compared to a solid 45.6 percentage from the Phoenix.
– Senior forward Lakeem Jackson posted the second double-double of his career vs. Elon with 14 points and 10 rebounds, both team highs in the game.
– Junior guard Brian Richardson currently ranks tied for 10th in the SEC and leads Carolina with 3.3 assists per game. He pulled down a career-best eight rebounds vs. Elon, while his four assists were also a team high.
– Freshman forward Michael Carrera, the Nov. 12 SEC Freshman of the Week, did not play vs. Morgan State, Rider or Elon due to a concussion suffered in practice on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
– South Carolina’s 78.4 percent from the free throw line leads the SEC, while individually, Brenton Williams ranks fourth in the league in the category. He has made 18-of-20 attempts this season.
– Williams had a career night vs. Rider, posting all-time highs in points (22), made 3-point baskets (5), 3-point attempts (8) and minutes played (38). The contest marked the second-career start for the Kissimme, Fla., native.
– Senior forward Lakeem Jackson ranks third in the SEC in field goal percentage with a mark of 63.9 (23-36). He hit 7-of-8 attempts in the victory vs. Rider and 7-of-13 from the field vs. Elon.
– The Gamecocks are a stellar 24-of-28 (85.7%) from the free throw line this season with under five minutes remaining in games (including overtime).
– Carrera posted the first double-double by a Gamecock freshman since the 2008 campaign vs. Milwaukee with 17 points and a game-best 15 rebounds.
– Senior guard LaShay Page returned to practice from a hamstring strain on Nov. 7 and he was the high scorer vs. Milwaukee with 19 points and vs. Morgan State with 20.
– Carolina owns a 5-3 all-time record against current schools in the Missouri Valley Conference, including a 3-1 edge in neutral site games. Saturday’s contest vs. Missouri State is the first game for Carolina vs. a member of the league since also playing a neutral site contest vs. the Bears in 2003.

Scouting Missouri State
Missouri State enters weekend action with a 2-2 record having victories over Philander Smith and Malone, and losses to 23rd-ranked San Diego State and Jacksonville. Missouri State has held three of its first four opponents under 35 percent field goal shooting and the squad is committing just 10.8 turnovers per contest. Senior guard Anthony Downing paces the team with 14.5 points per game, as he has scored in double-figures in each contest thus far. MSU attempts 22.8 3-point baskets per game, connecting on an average of 7.3 per contest. The Bears are led by Paul Lusk in his second season.

By The Numbers
+12.0 – South Carolina ranks second in the SEC with a +12.0 rebound margin over its opponents entering Saturday’s game vs. Missouri State. Carolina most recently out-rebounded Elon by 13 on Wednesday. The Gamecocks have out-rebounded each opponent this season.
15.5 – After averaging 28.5 trips to the free throw line in the first two games of the season combined (Milwaukee, Morgan State), the Gamecocks are averaging just 15.5 trips over the course of the last two games (Rider, Elon).
18 – Carolina’s 18 offensive rebounds vs. Elon marked a season high in the category. The Gamecocks rank fifth in the SEC in the category through the first four games.
6.5 – Among freshmen in the SEC, Mindaugas Kacinas ranks fifth with 6.5 rebounds per contest.
53.3% – For the first time this season a Gamecock opponent hit at least 50 percent of its attempts from 3-point range when Elon posted a 53.3% mark (8-15).