Downey's shot gave the Gamecocks a 37-35 lead, and Ole Miss would never get it back.
South Carolina scored the first 11 points of the second half to make it 48-35. David Huertas sank two free throws at that point, but the homestanding Gamecocks simply kept pouring it on and led 60-40 with 12 minutes to go in the contest. Ole Miss never got it to single digits the rest of the way.
"In all three of our (SEC) road losses, we have that three or four minute stretch where the game gets away from us," Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said. "The opponent goes on a 10 or 12 point run and changes the whole tide of the game. We've talked about that with our team, and we've got to do a better job."
Kennedy said his team didn't shoot the basketball well in the first half and should have been leading.
"We actually should have had a cushion. We shouldn't have been down two," he said. "We had some opportunities, and had we made some shots, I think it would have backed their pressure off a bit. Our inability to do that hurt us at the start of the second half. Offensively we had too many empty trips. You can't do that on the road."
Downey led USC with 22 points. The Gamecocks (14-4, 3-2 SEC) went on a 26-5 run against the Rebels that started with Downey's 3-point basket at the end of the first half and carried over to the first eight minutes of the second.
David Huertas, who ended the game with 27 points, scored on a 3-point basket with 11:23 to go in the game, and it was Ole Miss' first made basket of the second half.
"Obviously our run to start the second half was a key to the game and was fueled by our defense," said USC first-year head coach Darrin Horn. "We were able to create some offense off our defense. I thought we were really active defensively to start the second half. I thought we were active in the first half also. For us, I think the difference was our defensive intensity over a forty-minute period."
The Rebels (10-9, 1-4 SEC) host Kentucky Tuesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
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