Dec. 21, 2009
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina shot 64.5% from the field in the second half and Sam Muldrow scored all of his game-high 16 points over the final 20 minutes as the Gamecocks downed the Paladins 81-57 in men's basketball action Monday evening at the Colonial Life Arena.
The victory improved the South Carolina to 8-3 on the season, while Furman dropped its fourth straight game to slip to 5-5.
Leading 35-34 with 15:54 remaining, South Carolina reeled off a 28-5 run over the next seven minutes to open up a 63-39 cushion and put away the Paladins. Ramon Galloway buried three three-pointers to key the decisive run as the Gamecocks forced Furman into nine turnovers during the run, including five straight miscues.
Muldrow connected on 8-of-11 shots to tally 16 points while Devan Downey collected 16 points, eight assists and seven steals. Lakeem Jackson, 5-of-5 from the field, and Galloway tallied 15 points apiece. South Carolina made 20-of-31 second half field goals and shot 52.5% (31-59) for the game despite hitting only 6-of-19 three-point attempts.. The Gamecocks notched 16 steals and forced 24 Furman turnovers.
Amu Saaka scored 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting and Jordan Miller added 13 points to lead the Paladins. Freshman Colin Reddick grabbed a team-best seven rebounds to help Furman to a 36-31 edge on the boards. The Paladins shot just 32.7% (18-55) from the floor and connected on just 4-of-15 three-point attempts.
Furman erased an early 16-8 deficit with an 18-7 run to grab a 26-23 lead late in the first half before the Gamecocks finished the first period on a 5-0 spurt to take a 28-26 lead at intermission. The Paladins tied the game twice in the opening minutes of the second half before South Carolina's pressure allowed the Gamecocks to pull away.
Furman will be off for a week before returning to action on December 28, at the Golden Bear Classic in Berkeley, Calif. The Paladins open the four-team tournament next Monday against UC Santa Barbara at 8:00 p.m. ET. On Tuesday, the Paladins will face the winner or loser of Monday's game between Utah Valley and host California.
Live statistical updates and play-by-play of all Furman home games are available for free through GameTracker at www.furmanpaladins.com. Furman Paladins basketball can be heard live at WOLT-FM 103.3 and WGOG-FM 96.3.