Scores

Final

South Carolina 68

(5-4, 0-1 away)

Providence 67

(5-3, 2-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, December 6, 2007

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 2 T
SCAR 35 3368
PROV 26 4167

Top Performers

South Carolina: D. Downey 21 Pts, 5 Ast, 5 Stl

Providence: G. McDermott 16 Pts, 10 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

Gamecocks withstand Friars' late charge at Big East/SEC Invitational

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Devan Downey scored 21 points and Mike Holmes had 12 to lead South Carolina to a 68-67 win over Providence on Thursday night in the Big East/SEC Invitational.

The Gamecocks (5-4) held on even though they had a nearly 6-minute stretch without a field goal late in the second half that allowed the Friars to knock a double-digit deficit all the way down to one.

Weyinmi Efejuku was fouled with 0.2 seconds left on a driving layup and the Friars trailing by two. With a chance to send the game into overtime, Efejuku made only one of two free throws and South Carolina finally escaped with the victory.

Geoff McDermott had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Providence (5-3). The Friars used a 10-minute stretch without a turnover late in the second half to get back in the game. It helped that South Carolina, which led 54-42 on a Brandis Raley-Ross 3-pointer, went cold from the floor.

Downey, though, ended the drought with a steal and fastbreak layup for a 65-59 lead.

With time running out, the Friars kept chipping away and Brian McKenzie hit a 3 from the top of the arc that made it 67-64 with 33.6 seconds left.

Dwain Williams missed a driving layup and McDermott was fouled after grabbing the loose ball.

McDermott, whose shot nearly fell through the hoop, sank the first three throw with 6.1 seconds left. South Carolina tried to ice him with a timeout, but he swished the second.

South Carolina's Dominique Archie was fouled and he missed the first free throw. He hit the second to make it 68-66 and give the late-arriving crowd there to see the following Villanova game a reason to pay attention in the final 5.1 seconds.

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown, who played at South Carolina and watched from the front row, had to like how the Gamecocks played early.

Raley-Ross and Zam Fredrick hit consecutive 3-pointers midway through the first half to give the Gamecocks a 10-point lead. Downey sank a 3-pointer right before halftime to help South Carolina take a 35-26 lead into the break.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SCAR
PROV
Points 68 67
FG Made-Attempted 22-50 (.440) 26-55 (.473)
3P Made-Attempted 6-14 (.429) 6-16 (.375)
FT Made-Attempted 18-23 (.783) 9-12 (.750)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 12 2

2007-08 Season

DATEGAMELINKS
» Dec 6, 2007 SCAR 68, @PROV 67Recap