Vanderbilt gets OT win at USC, 99-90

COLUMBIA-- Shan Foster scored 33 points and Derrick Byars added 18 as Vanderbilt defeated South Carolina in overtime, 99-90. The win assured Vanderbilt at least a tie for second place in the SEC East.

Vanderbilt, led by Foster, got off to a fast start shooting making 11 of 16 three pointers in the first half to build a seemingly comfortable 47-35 halftime lead.

In the second half South Carolina, behind the play of guard Tre Kelley, rallied to tie the game at 69-69 on a Dominique Archie field goal with 4:50 remaining.

South Carolina took the lead when Tre Kelley made two free throws after being fouled by Ross Neltner to give the Gamecocks a 73-71 lead with 3:39 remaining. Kelley finished with 32 points, making 3 of 4 from 3-point range and 11 of 13 free throws to lead the Gamecocks.

Down 77-73 with 2 minutes remaining, Vanderbilt's Derrick Byars missed the second of 2 free throws but the ball was knocked back to Alex Gordon who made a 3-point shot to tie the game at 77.

South Carolina could not convert with 10 seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied 81-81. Vanderbilt forced a jump ball and but the possession arrow favored the Gamecocks. A tight defense by Vanderbilt prevented the home team from even getting a shot off in the final seconds.

Vanderbilt dominated the overtime as Byars, who had been held in check much of the game, drilled a 3-pointer to give Vanderbilt an early 84-81 lead. After Kelley added another free throw Byars struck again from 3-point range to give Vanderbilt an 87-82 lead with four minutes remaining. After a JeJuan Brown bucket put Vanderbilt up 91-85 with 2:15 remaining South Carolina began to foul. The Commodores made 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch to seal their 20th victory of the season.

A happy Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings credited the big play after Byars missed free throw for helping secure the win, "Obviously it was a hard fought game. It was a game that we had control of, and they came back and got some measure of control late. They were up four, and we were at the line and we missed the free throw, and then got the tap out, which turned into a three-pointer. It was a four-point play to tie the game up. I thought that was very significant."

Vanderbilt improves to 20-9 (10-5 SEC). Vanderbilt hosts Arkansas on Saturday at noon. South Carolina falls to 14-14 (4-11 SEC). The Gamecocks travel to LSU on Saturday.


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