USC Notches 1st Big Win of Horn Era

In a dramatic finish on a hostile court a thousand miles from home, the Gamecock basketball team gave Darrin Horn his first big win as Carolina's Coach. The 85 - 84 win over the 19th ranked Baylor Bears came on the sharp shooting of Devan Downey (23 pts) and a clutch game winning shot by Zam Fredrick (19 pts).

South Carolina was leading by one point with 31 seconds to play and had possession of the ball. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Evaldas Baniulis turned the ball over after being called for traveling. Baylor quickly took advantage of the Carolina's miscue and got the ball inside to LaceDarius Dunn who was fouled by Mike Holmes. With 12 seconds remaining, Dunn sank both free throws putting Baylor ahead for the first time since the 12:48 mark, 84-83.

After a team time out, Carolina inbounded the ball to Devan Downey, who took the ball across mid-court and called another timeout. With :08 seconds remaining, Downey was doubled teamed, forcing Zam Fredrick to inbound the ball to Mike Holmes, who gave a look towards a smothered Downey, dished to Zam Frederick, who drove hard to the basket, sinking a contested lay up for the go ahead basket. Baylor had one last chance as they drove the length of the court, but came up short after Mike Holmes (7 rebounds) blocked Tweety Carter's shot for the victory.

Carolina improved its record to 10-2 with the victory. The game was well played by both teams, but the difference, according to Baylor's head coach Scott Drew, was South Carolina's second chance points and 54% shooting for the game. Coach Drew indicated that when you out-rebound your opponent on the offensive boards 21 – 12, you should win the second chance points. South Carolina had 16 second chance points to Baylor's 15. Additionally, Coach Drew praised the play of Zam Frederick in the first half and Devan Downey's play in the second half. "Downey controlled the second half," Drew said. Coach Drew stated that Baylor will not face a better guard this year.

The Baylor Bears (12-2) were looking to match a Ferrell Center record of 10 consecutive wins set back in 2001-2002 season, but could not build upon a 10 point first half lead. South Carolina allowed Baylor to build their lead due to poor free throw shooting, 4-10 in the first half and 9-19 for the game, and poor perimeter passing that led to several easy buckets for Baylor.

However, that was Baylor's biggest lead of the game at 25-15 with 09:48 to play in the first half. South Carolina would begin to chip away with outstanding defense that carried over to the second half. South Carolina started spreading the floor better in the second half, allowing Downey to find the gaps and penetrate to the basket. The strong inside play of Mike Holmes (3 blocks), Austin Steed and Dominique Archie kept the high scoring Bears in check for most of the game and was essential to the Gamecocks outscoring the Bears in the paint 42-32.

Poised and playing with determination, the Gamecocks came from behind on the road against a top 20 team in the country and took home a victory. When asked after the game if this was sweet revenge after allowing the Bears last year to come from a 20 point deficit to win on the Gamecocks home court, Devan Downey responded with, "We are not talking about last year... we are only talking about this year." The Gamecocks return to the court on Monday, January 5, for a home contest versus Wofford College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

The Gamecocks open up SEC play with a home game against the Auburn Tigers on January 10. Tipoff for that game is also scheduled for 7:00 PM.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories