USC fans celebrated their football team’s ownership of the Hardees Trophy for a fourth consecutive season at halftime of Sunday’s basketball game with Clemson at the Colonial Life Arena. That was about all the Gamecock fans had to cheer. The Tigers pulled away late in the second half for a 64-55 victory snapping the Gamecocks’ two game winning streak in the series.
It’s the first win for a Clemson basketball or football team against the Gamecocks since the Tiger men won in basketball in 2010. And the Tiger players interviewed after the game feel this will be the turning point back their way in the athletic competition between the schools.
After a jumper by Lakeem Jackson gave USC a 31-28 lead with 17:14 to play, the Tigers went on a 20-6 run for a 48-37 lead with 9:00 to play. The Gamecocks got back to within 51-47 with 4:10 left but Damarcus Harrison buried a deep three for the Tigers with 3:37 to play, his only three ball of the game, and that seemed to take the air out of the Gamecocks. The Tigers built the lead back to 60-48 and cruised home from there.
AUDIO: Harrison describes his three pointer that turned the tide [1:34]
The Tigers protected their lead from the line and finished 27-37 on free throws. KJ McDaniels led the Tigers with 16 points and Rod Hall added 15 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds. And Devin Booker contributed 13 points, 8 rebounds and two blocks.
AUDIO: KJ McDaniels talks about the win over USC [1:23]
AUDIO: Rod Hall discusses going head to head with Bruce Ellington [1:53]
AUDIO: Brad Brownell post game press conference [7:20]
Brenton Williams led the Gamecocks with 16 points off the bench and Bruce Ellington added 12. The Gamecocks got only 14 points from their starting lineup.
AUDIO: Williams and Ellington talk about loss to Clemson [3:53]
AUDIO: Frank Martin says team is still learning how to play [2:47]
Clemson improves to 5-2 with the win and will next be in action at home December 8th against Arizona. The Gamecocks fall to 5-3 and they return to action at home December 7th against Jacksonville