Gamecocks use second-half surge to blow past Tigers

uschoops-0Emboldened by a raucous crowd of over 11,000 fans, the South Carolina Gamecocks (6-3) earned a big win over archrival Clemson (6-4) Friday evening at Colonial Life Arena.

Duane Notice would score 14 of his game-high 19 points over the final 20 minutes, helping Carolina turn a two-point halftime deficit into a 68-45 win. The sophomore guard would nearly match the entire offensive output of the Tigers, who as a team made just five field goals and scored 15 points in the second half.

With Clemson holding a 30-28 lead coming out of halftime, the two teams traded possessions and were knotted at 35 after a 3 from Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame with 15:09 to play. That would be the visiting side’s final field goal made over the next ten minutes, as the Gamecocks embarked on a 26-2 run in that span to put the game away.

A barrage of 3-pointers from the Carolina guards sparked the streak, with Notice making two and Sindarius Thornwell adding another that ballooned the lead into double digits and forced a timeout with ten minutes to play.

Free throws from both Demetrius Henry and Tyrone Johnson and a lay-up from Johnson continued the run for the Gamecocks, as the Tigers scored just two points the middle eight minutes of the half. Notice connected for his career-high fifth 3 of the contest with 4:33 remaining to put the Carolina lead at 64-39.

After connecting on just 1-of-9 attempts from deep in the first half, the Gamecocks would hit on 6-of-13 in the second half. Four would come from Notice alone. On the defensive end, South Carolina would limit the opposition to 1-of-11 from long range.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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