Basketball was on center stage in the USC-Clemson rivalry Friday night and the Gamecocks stole the show in a 68-45 win over their Upstate rival. The hardwood matchup pales in comparison to the one on the gridiron, but for a night the 11,992 Garnet and Black fans at Colonial Life Arena were able to savor a dominant win over a Tigers team that had won two straight in the series.
USC (6-3) made it happen with defense. The Gamecocks trailed by two at the half, but pulled away after the break by holding Clemson(6-4) to 18% shooting from in the final 20 minutes. The Tigers shot just 30% from the floor for the game. While the Tigers couldn’t find a basket, USC went on a 26-2 run over a 9:30 span. That stretch removed all doubt about who was going to win.
- Duane Notice led the Gamecocks with 19 points. He hit five of the Gamecocks seven three point shots.
- USC was 1-9 from 3 in the first half and 6-13 in the second. Clemson hit 1-11 from 3 in the second half.
- Jaron Blossomgame led the Tigers with 14 points. Damarcus Harrison scored 10.
- The 23 point win for USC is its biggest over Clemson since a 22 point win in 2001.
- Clemson’s largest lead was two points.
- Clemson erased an 11 point USC lead in the first half with a 10-0 run. They took the lead at the end of the first half with a 6-0 run, 30-28.
- USC is the first SEC team to beat Clemson this year. LSU, Arkansas and Auburn lost to the Tigers.
- This is Frank Martin’s first win over Clemson since taking over the Gamecock program.