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Dec. 24, 2013

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HONOLULU, Hawaii – South Carolina (3-6) suffered an 80-54 loss to Boise State (10-2) in the semifinals of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Monday. The Gamecocks will face Akron on Wednesday, Dec. 25, in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Senior guard Brenton Williams led Carolina with 14 points in the game, and freshman guard Duane Notice added 13. The Gamecocks recorded just six assists and 18 turnovers on the night, hitting 37.3 percent (19-51) from the field, compared to the 53.7 percent (29-54) from the Broncos. Junior guard Anthony Drmic paced Boise State with a game high 30 points and three steals.

The veteran Broncos jumped out to an early 9-4 lead behind seven points from Drmic. The Broncos extended their lead to as many as nine in the early goings before a 3 from Williams and lay-in from Notice brought the score to 15-9 Broncos with 12:50 remaining in the first half.

South Carolina started just 4-of-12 from the floor to open the contest and both teams struggled near the eight-minute mark to find the basket with Boise State holding a 22-15 advantage.

A 3 from Boise State’s Thomas Bropleh was answered with a 3 from Williams with 5:03 on the clock in the first half to bring the score to 29-21 Broncos.

Junior guard Tyrone Johnson completed a 3-point play from the line after a Broncos foul with just under three minutes remaining in the half, but the Gamecocks would add just two more points before the break. Boise State’s Nick Duncan hit a 3 with 40 seconds remaining and Bropleh connected on a lay-in just before the halftime buzzer for a 43-28 Broncos lead at the half.

South Carolina shot just 38 percent (10-26) in the opening stanza, compared to 53.6 percent (15-28) from Boise State. Williams recorded 10 points to pace the Gamecocks and Drmic scored 21 for Boise State in the half. The Broncos also scored 12 points off of 11 Gamecock turnovers in the set.

Notice scored five points early in the second half, but Boise State’s Ryan Watkins connected for a pair of lay-ups and Drimic a free throw to put the Broncos lead at 48-33 with 16:41 to play.

A lay-in from Williams broke a four-minute scoreless streak for Carolina at the 13:46 mark. Boise State answered with lay-ups on consecutive possessions from Drimic and Bropleh and the Gamecocks trailed 56-35 with just over 12 minutes to play.

South Carolina continued to struggle from the floor. Jeff Elorriaga hit 3s on consecutive Broncos possessions, before sophomore forward Brian Steele hit his first basket of the contest, a 3, with 8:08 showing on the clock to put the score at 67-40 Boise State.

The Gamecocks battled the remainder of the half, but Boise State’s lead was too much and the Broncos closed the 80-54 victory.

South Carolina will play Akron on Wednesday, Dec. 25, in the third-place game, set to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The contest will be the first of back-to-back games versus the Zips, as the two teams are scheduled to play in Columbia on Dec. 28.