(24) South Carolina 57

(18-2, 5-1 SEC)

Vanderbilt 55

(13-4, 2-4 SEC)

    8:00 PM ET, January 28, 2004

    Memorial Gym, Nashville, Tennessee

    1 2 T
    #24SC 28 2957
    VAN 32 2355

    Vandy suffers first home loss of season

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Kerbrell Brown tapped in Josh Gonner's miss with 1.9 seconds left and lifted No. 24 South Carolina over Vanderbilt 57-55 Wednesday night for the Gamecocks' fifth straight win.

    South Carolina (18-2, 5-1) remained atop the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division with the victory in an ugly game that featured 17 lead changes and six ties, the last with 9.2 seconds to go off Matt Freije's putback of Mario Moore's miss.

    Gonner then took the ball up the court and drove to the basket. His shot missed, and the ball rolled around before Brown knocked it in.

    Vanderbilt (13-4, 2-4) had one last chance, but Freije's desperation heave from just past midcourt never came near the basket.

    It was the Commodores' first loss at home this season, snapping an 11-game winning streak in Memorial Gym. Losing to South Carolina has become a habit. The Gamecocks now have won 13 of the past 16 games in this series, and Vanderbilt has not won on its home court since Jan. 20, 1999.

    Gonner finished with 17 points to lead South Carolina, and Carlos Powell had 10. Brown had eight points.

    Freije led Vanderbilt with 26 points, and Scott Hundley added 12.

    The Gamecocks, who lead the SEC in most defensive categories, got Vanderbilt into the kind of sloppy and messy game they prefer with three jump ball situations in the opening minutes alone as players just started reaching in and tying up the ball.

    Vanderbilt led 32-28 after a first half that featured two players being ejected after a tussle in front of the Commodores' bench. Gamecocks center Renaldo Balkman apparently hit Vanderbilt guard Corey Smith, who threw Balkman to the ground and started punching him with 5:37 left in the half.

    Stallings and assistant Jeff Jackson pulled Smith away, and officials spent 10 minutes talking amongst themselves and with the coaches from each team before ejecting Balkman for a flagrant foul and Smith for fighting.

    Freije picked up a technical of his own after throwing the ball at a South Carolina player after scoring to put Vandy up 20-17 with 4:41. Freije scored seven points in the final 1:53 to keep the Commodores ahead at halftime.

    South Carolina won despite going without a bucket from the floor for 6{ minutes down the stretch before Gonner stole the ball and scored on a layup with 29.1 seconds to go for a 55-53 lead.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    » Jan 28, 2004 SC 57, @VAN 55Recap
    Feb 14, 2004 @SC 82, VAN 75Recap