Kinsey Scores 19 As USC Wallops Appalachian St.

Tarence Kinsey scored 19 points, only two shy of his career high, as South Carolina broke open a close game with a strong finish to the first half before pulling away in the second to register a convincing 91-57 victory over Appalachian State at the Colonial Center. The victory means USC will take a perfect 4-0 record into Saturday night's showdown against Clemson in Columbia.

South Carolina and Appalachian State battled tooth-and-nail for 17 minutes Wednesday night.

Then the Gamecocks began to crow, quickly turning the contest into a rout.

USC outscored Appalachian State by a 44-15 margin over a 12-1/2 minute span bridging the first and second halves to break open a hard-fought game and pull away for a 91-57 victory Wednesday night before an appreciative crowd of 7,086 at the Colonial Center.

Tarence Kinsey led USC with 19 points, 15 coming in the first half. Carlos Powell, the reigning SEC player of the Week, scored 12 of his 15 points after halftime.

Antoine Tisby continued to show improvement in his first season of big-time college basketball, scoring 13 points and grabbing five rebounds in 18 minutes of action.

USC improved to 4-0. The Gamecocks will put its unbeaten record on the line Saturday against arch-rival Clemson at 7:30 p.m. at the Colonial Center.

USC had a season-low nine turnovers, including only one turnover in the second half.

After USC closed out the first half with an 11-2 run to take a 13-point halftime lead (36-23), the Gamecocks continued the surge into the second half.

Kinsey started the second half scoring with a triple. Powell followed with a baby hook in the lane to give USC a 41-23 lead. After an ASU basket, Powell outfought a couple of ASU defenders for a rebound on a missed free throw and laid it in to give USC its biggest lead of the contest at 44-25.

A brief flurry by ASU didn't stop the Gamecocks. A layup by Kelley (nice drive down the lane) and a 3-pointer by Gonner gave the Gamecocks a 49-31 lead with 16:59 left.

A 3-pointer by Kelley and dunk by Brandon Wallace (7 points, 5 rebounds) pushed the Gamecocks' lead to 20 (54-34) with 15:29 left.

Two baskets by Powell (offensive rebound, jumper) and the first 3-pointer of the season by Balkman gave USC a 61-36 lead with 13:18 left.

Tisby showed a flash of his enormous with a strong move in the lane over a pair of ASO defenders. He was fouled on the play and sank the free throw to give USC a 64-36 lead with 12:26 left.

Rocky Trice got into the act with a nice lefthanded shot to give USC a 30-point lead (66-36) for the first time.

Tisby had another three-point play with 10:30 left when he overpowered an ASU defender underneath for an offensive rebound basket.

Two free throws by Tisby gave USC a 73-41 lead with 8:15 left, and gave the junior college transfer his first double digit scoring game at USC.

Rocky Trice hit a pair of jumpers, one a 3-pointer, to make it a 78-47 game with 6:08 left.

Paulius Joneliunas and John Chappell pleased the crowd by scoring late baskets. Jon Land made an appearance in the final two minutes and recorded a pair of rebounds.

USC moved the ball around quickly on its first possession, resulting in a layup for Gonner. Powell got a goaltending call on USC's second possession for a 4-0 Gamecocks lead.

After a 3-pointer by ASU, Brandon Wallace made his presence felt in the paint with a dunk on one end and blocked shot on the other. The easy basket started a 10-0 run for USC over the next 4:34 that pushed the lead to 14-3 with 13:20 left.

Appalachian State called a timeout with 15:06 left in an attempt to quiet the storm. But it did little good. Kelley hit a jumper from the wing, while Kinsey had a layup (following a scramble) and jumper during the surge.

Stephen McDowell had a stop-and-pop jumper in the lane to halt a brief four-point run by ASU, giving USC a 16-7 lead. Moments later, Gonner brought the crowd to its feet with a breakaway dunk.

Kinsey made one of two free throws with 7:56 left to give USC a 20-11 lead. A pair of ASU baskets cut the lead to five (20-15) before John Chappell grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Kinsey for a jumper.

However, some sloppy defense on the other end gave ASU another basket and forced Dave Odom to call a timeout with 5:28 left to give his club a tongue-lashing.

On USC's first possession coming out of the timeout, Wallace calmly drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key for an eight-point lead (25-17).

Four straight points by ASU closed the gap to 25-21 with 3:01 left. It was all USC after that.

USC dominated the remainder of the half, scoring 11 of the final 13 points. Kinsey continued to look strong with a pair of free throws and jumper from the wing to give USC a 29-21 lead with 1:34 left.

Kinsey then rifled home a jumper with 1:04 left, giving the junior guard six points within 1:45.

The final points of the half came in the closing seconds on one of the prettiest fast breaks you will ever see. Balkman finished the play with a dunk. Watch for it on ESPN's "Plays of the Week."

APP: 23-34=57

USC: 36-55=91

USC Leading Scorer: Tarence Kinsey, 19 points.

APP Leading Scorer: Chris McFarland, 17 points.

USC Leading Rebounder: Carlos Powell, 6.

APP Leading Rebounder: Chris McFarland, 7.

Halftime: USC 36-23.

Next Game: Sat. 12/4 v. Clemson, 7:30 p.m.

NOTES: USC's starting lineup - G Tre Kelley, G Josh Gonner, F Carlos Powell, F Tarence Kinsey, and C Brandon Wallace. . .USC now leads the all-time series against Appalachian State, 3-0. . .USC is 20-0 at the Colonial Center and 29-1 at home overall under Dave Odom in nonconference play. . .USC has won 26 consecutive nonconference games at home. . .The last nonconference loss at home came on 12/6/01 against Georgetown. . .USC is now 274-130 all-time against the Southern Conference. USC plays three Southern Conference teams this season, Western Carolina, App. State, and Wofford (12/31). . .Dave Odom is 61-42 overall at USC. . .Carlos Powell has scored in double figures in 18 straight games against nonconference opponents. . .USC is 18-0 under Odom when it scored at least 80 points. . .USC is 51-8 under Odom when it leads at halftime. . .the 91 points scored by USC is the most score dby one team in the Colonial Center. . .USC hosts archrival Clemson at the Colonial Center Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

QUOTES:

USC HEAD COACH DAVE ODOM: "I was very pleased with the way we played. Especially with the way we came out in the first half. We wanted to establish a tone defensively. We did that very well. We had a good spurt at the end of the first half. Tarence Kinsey stepped in and filled the need. I'm very happy for Tarence. He's been staying after practice and working on his shooting. We challenged them at halftime to set the tome in the second half. We showed enough presence to get through it."

"I'm happy for some of our reserves. They had some good minutes and they had better presence tonight. Still, we've got concerns. Teams are getting to the basket too much on us. They had four dunks in the first half and that's too much. Rebounding is still a concern. We're making progress. Now we move on. We've got a challenge Saturday night. Clemson is a good basketball team. We look forward to it. Saturday is a big game. The state looks forward to it. I know we'll be excited to be there. It will be the place to be on Saturday."

"What impressed was we had only one turnover in the second half. Tarence was a big part of that. He's junior. He should be a leader. He's been willingly taking it on."


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