Gamecocks win first game of European tour

BENESOV, Czech Republic -- The University of South Carolina men's basketball team opened the first of its four games overseas with a 99-57 victory against Benesov Basketball Club on Saturday in Benesov, Czech Republic.

The Gamecocks' speed seemed to take Benesov by surprise, as they raced out to a 15-0 lead within the first 2:25 of the game. After leading 30-14 at the end of the first quarter, South Carolina's advantage swelled to 58-30 at halftime.

Junior Devan Downey led South Carolina in scoring at the intermission with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting and drained both of his 3-point attempts. Downey finished the game leading all Gamecock scorers with 21. As a team, Carolina shot 60.5 percent (23-of-38) from the floor in the first half.

After outscoring Benesov by just a point in the third quarter, 20-19, the Gamecocks used some strong defensive play to limit their opponents to just eight points in the fourth.

All 11 Gamecocks scored and five reached double figures. Junior Dominique Archie notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while classmate Zam Fredrick scored 15 and made 3-of-6 3-pointers. Junior Mitchell Carter had a dozen points, and sophomore Sam Muldrow added 10 points and seven boards.

Perhaps the most notable event of the game was the number of Gamecocks fans who showed up who did not travel with the team from Columbia, S.C. Following the contest, the entire traveling party had the pleasure of meeting Bill and Gigi Kunz and their daughter Stella. Bill is a 1989 graduate of USC and works for the Army as a civilian maintaining computer servers.

Also in attendance were Wallace and Isa Smith and their daughters Julia and Lexi and son Aiden. Wallace is a 1997 graduate of USC and a Major in the US Army. The Kunzs and Smiths drove down from Grafenwoehr, Germany, for the game.

Here are some other notes from the game and day in general:

- South Carolina took a boat tour of Prague on the Vltava River in the morning prior to the game.

- The Gamecocks' starting lineup consisted of Devan Downey, Brandis Raley-Ross, Zam Fredrick, Dominique Archie and Mike Holmes.

- Admission to the game was free and so were a host of homemade pastries at the entrance that were enjoyed by all. According to one of Benesov BC's players after the game, admission to a game normally runs around one dollar.

- Apparently any music can be played at a game, or at least this one, regardless of the words. Several American songs were played that contained words not appropriate for this report.

The Gamecocks will head to Bratislava, Slovakia, on Sunday morning, a bus ride scheduled to last around five hours. After reaching their destination, South Carolina will play its second game of the tour in the evening. Be sure to keep checking for more updates, videos and photos.

To discuss this article, visit The Cockpit, our free forum, or The Golden Spur, our premium forum.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories