Gamecocks Blitz Bulldogs, 91-56

Brian Richardson and Lakeem Jackson scored 17 points each as South Carolina rebounded from its first home loss of the season with a 91-56 victory over South Carolina State on Tuesday night.

The Gamecocks (9-4) used a 24-3 run to blitz the Bulldogs (4-9) of the MEAC at the end of the first half and took a 44-22 lead into the break. South Carolina, in its final nonconference game, then opened the second half on a 20-11 spurt in the first five minutes to record their largest margin of victory of the season.

Sam Muldrow chipped in with 15 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high six blocks for the Gamecocks and Bruce Ellington added 13 points.

South Carolina, bouncing back from a New Year's Day loss to Boston College, finished with 15 blocked shots, one off the school record.

Darnell Porter led the Bulldogs with 16 points.

TEAM NOTES

• South Carolina's 91-56 victory was the largest margin of victory this season (35), marking the first time since an 88-58 victory against Longwood (Jan. 5, 2010) that the Gamecocks had a margin of victory of 30 points or more.

• The 35-point margin of victory is the second-largest in the series between the two teams, tying the 2006 Gamecock victory (81-46) for that distinction. The largest margin of victory was 36 points (December 22, 2003, 86-50 victory).

• South Carolina finishes the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 9-4 record, marking the second straight year that Darrin Horn's squad earned nine victories before the start of SEC play (9-5 last season).

• South Carolina improves to 20-1 all-time against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, including a 17-0 mark against intrastate opponent SC State.

• Leading 20-19 with 8:45 remaining in the first half, South Carolina went on a 24-3 run to head into the break.

• South Carolina hit 15 free throws in the match, one shy of the 16 free throws converted against Radford (Nov. 19, 2010).

• With the victory, the Gamecocks finish the 2010-11 season with a 4-1 record against opponents in the state of South Carolina.

• Every eligible Gamecock except one that played in Tuesday's match scored at least three points.

• The Gamecocks won the rebounding battle (42-32) for the ninth time in 13 non-conference matches.

• Four players scored in double-figures for South Carolina, led by the 17 points by Lakeem Jackson and Brian Richardson. It is the seventh game that the Gamecocks have had four double-figure scorers this season.

• Six different players collected at least one steal - Cooke (2), Smith (2), Muldrow (1), Richardson (1), Ellington (1), and Galloway (1).

• The Gamecocks blocked a season-high 15 shots (5 in the first half, 10 in the second half), led by Sam Muldrow's season-high six rejections. The team fell one block shy of the single-game record of 16 (vs. Kentucky - Feb. 25, 2009).

• South Carolina set a single-game high in field goal percentage this season with a .532 clip (33-for-62). The previous season high was a .530 clip against Elon (35-for-66).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

#15 Malik Cooke

• Collected two steals for the second straight game.

#24 Damontre Harris

• Had a career-high with nine points in his third straight start.
• Set a career-high with five blocks in the game.
• Harris also recorded eight rebounds to finish his all-around effort and strong play since cracking the starting lineup against Jacksonville State.

#30 Lakeem Jackson

• Hit a season high 17 points in the game, highlighted by a 12-point first half performance. The 12 points in the first half was the second-best single half effort in Jackson's career, surpassed only by his 14 points scored in the second half against Baylor on January 2, 2010.
• Continues his strong overall play with five assists and five rebounds. Jackson has collected nine assists in the past two games.
• Matched his season high with one blocked shot and hit his second career 3-pointer on a 1-for-1 effort beyond the arc.

#44 Sam Muldrow

• Set a season high with six blocks and is now just 44 blocks away from surpassing Brandon Wallace (249) for first place in Gamecock history. His previous season high - a five-block game - came against Carolina's other intrastate foe - Clemson.
• Had his third double-double of the season and fourth of his career with a 15-point, 11-rebound effort. It was his second double-double in the past three games.

#2 Brian Richardson

• Had a career high with 17 points - all coming in the second half after going scoreless in the first half (one shot attempt in the opening stanza).
• Returned to form with a 5-for-8 3-point shooting effort, a career-high for made 3-pointers.

#33 RJ Slawson

• Tallied his second career block with a rejection in the first half

#5 Eric Smith

• Dished a career-high four assists in the victory.

#1 Stephen Spinella

• Converted on his only shot attempt, a 3-pointer late in the second half to end a three-game scoreless streak.

UP NEXT

• South Carolina begins Southeastern Conference play on Saturday, hosting Vanderbilt at 5 p.m. The contest will be televised by ESPN2, marking Carolina's first appearance on the channel this season. The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 23-23.

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