Big Second Half Leads No. 16/15 South Carolina To 77-66 Win At USF
Dec. 17, 2016
TAMPA, Fla. – No. 16/15 South Carolina (9-1) notched its first true road win of the season, 77-66, at South Florida (5-4) on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore PJ Dozier tallied a new career-high 23 points (9-of-18), marking his fourth-straight game with 20-plus. Senior Duane Notice hit four 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 15.
Carolina won the opening tip and jumped out to a 9-6 lead after a Maik Kotsar layup with 16:36 left. The freshman from Tallin, Estonia started the game 3-for-3 from the field with six points. The Gamecocks led 9-8 at the first media timeout with 15:48 left.
The Bulls then went on a 9-0 run to take a 17-12 lead that was capped off with a 3-point play by Geno Thorpe just before the second media timeout with 11:58 left. Carolina countered with a 6-0 run to regain the lead 18-17, forcing a timeout by USF head coach Orlando Antigua with 9:53 left.
The Bulls switched to a 2-3 zone as the Gamecocks had missed seven-straight shots from behind the arc. Freshman Rakym Felder ended the draught from long range and knocked down back-to-back 3s to put South Carolina ahead 24-21,. Jahmal McMurray then hit consecutive 3-pointers to put USF back in front 29-27 at the final media timeout of the first half with 3:47 left.
The Gamecocks trailed by six at the break, 37-31, as the Bulls ended the opening period on a 14-4 run. Felder (3-for-6 from 3) and sophomore PJ Dozier (4-for-9) led Carolina in half one with nine points each. Kotsar had seven points and led the team with four rebounds. McMurray led all scorers with 15 at the break (5-of-10, 2-2 from 3). USF held a 26-17 edge on the glass at halftime.
Back-to-back 3s by Notice brought the Gamecocks within two at the under-16 media timeout with 15:45 left in the second half. A Silva dunk and two Felder free throws put the Gamecocks back ahead, 48-46, with 14:47 to go. A Dozier steal and layup by senior Justin McKie then put Carolina up four, forcing a timeout by the Bulls with 12:16 left.
Dozier threw down a transition dunk after the timeout to cap a 9-0 run for the Gamecocks, which put them ahead 57-51. USF clawed back into it and pulled within one at 57-56 after consecutive 3s by McMurray with 9:03 left. McKie answered with a 3 on the ensuing possession after an offensive board by freshman Khadim Gueye.
After a Dozier made 3 with 5:23 left, Carolina began to pull away. With the shot clock dwindling, the Gamecocks swung the ball around the perimeter and Notice hit his fourth 3 of the second half to put Carolina up nine, 72-63 with 3:05 left. The Gamecocks would lead by eight or more the rest the way en route to the 77-66 victory.
Felder and Dozier tied for the team lead with five assists, as Carolina matched a season-high 18 assists on the day. Kotsar led the way on the glass for the Gamecocks, snagging nine rebounds. McKie recorded a new career-high with four steals to lead the team.
South Carolina outscored USF 46-29 in the second half after trailing by seven points at halftime.
- Sophomore guard PJ Dozier had a new career-high 23 points. Today was his fourth-straight game with 20-plus.
- The Gamecocks forced 17 turnovers, including 9 steals.
- Carolina’s stingy defense has had nine-plus steals in five-straight games.
- Senior guard Duane Notice, who tallied four made 3s in the second half, has recorded three or more made 3s in four games this season.
- Freshman guard Rakym Felder logged a new career-high with 11 points. He also set a new career-high with 3 made field goals from behind the arc.
- Dozier (5), Felder (5), Notice (4) and senior Justin McKie (3) accounted for 17 of the team’s 18 assists.
- Carolina shot 53.6 percent in the second half (15-of-28), including 75 percent from 3 (6-of-8).
South Carolina returns to Columbia to host instate rival Clemson on Wednesday, Dec. 21, in the final game before the break for the Christmas holiday. The Gamecocks have won two straight in the series and three of the last five. Game time is set for 9 p.m. ET vs. the Tigers, with the matchup to be broadcast on ESPNU with Kevin Fitzgerald (pxp) and Chris Spatola (analyst) on the call.
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