Keyshawn Bryant heads to the rim against Vanderbilt (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

USC treated a shorthanded Vanderbilt team like it should have Saturday night building a 9 point halftime lead and then running away in the second half to a 90-64 win. The Gamecocks improved to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in the SEC. The Commodores, playing without the SEC’s leading scorer in Charleston native Aaron Nesmith and big man Clevon Brown, fell to 8-11 and 0-6 in the league.

Some of the keys to the USC victory

  • While Vanderbilt was minus a couple of key players, the Gamecocks got a pair of their walking wounded back in Keyshawn Bryant and Trae Hannibal, and both played big roles in the victory. But a lot of players were big for the Gamecocks in this one with five scoring in double figures.
  • USC took the lead for good at 8-7 on a Justin Minaya layup. A 9-0 run built the advantage to 23-13, and it was 44-35 at the half, the second highest score in the first half for the Gamecocks this season. USC put the game away midway thru the second half with an 11-1 run that bult the lead to 22 points.
  • The Gamecocks shot 60% in the first half despite making just 3-10 from three-point range. They dropped to 48% in the second half but did make 4-8 from long. Vandy shot just 33% for the game, and missed 25 of 30 from distance.
  • Justin Minaya notched his second double-double of the season and of his career with 14 points and 12 rebounds. AJ Lawson added 14 points. And the Gamecocks got a surprise major contribution off the bench from freshman Jalyn McCreary who had a career high 11 points along with 5 rebounds.
  • The Gamecocks are back on the road Wednesday night at Arkansas.
  • Final Stats

Frank Martin postgame press conference