South Carolina Sneaks Past Clemson
Dec. 5, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -Bruce Ellington scored 14 points, including a critical 3-pointer in the final minute as South Carolina broke a six-game losing streak to rival Clemson, 64-60, on Sunday.
The Gamecocks (6-1) led 58-55 when Ellington, a freshman, dribbled away much of the 35 second clock before striking for a 3 from the left side of the arc.
Clemson (5-3) got within 62-60 on Andre Young's two foul shots with 16 seconds to go. But Sam Muldrow followed with a pair of free throws of his own to ice things for South Carolina.
Muldrow finished with 13 points and five blocks in the series closest game since the Tigers began their streak in 2004 with a 63-62 win.
Ellington, a freshman, is cousins with Clemson's leading rusher, tailback Andre Ellington. Both wear No. 23.
Young had 15 points to lead Clemson.
It hasn't been the best year for the Tigers in this rivalry, which usually defines the sporting landscape of South Carolina.
Clemson's baseball team was knocked out of the College World Series by the eventual national champion Gamecocks. Then last week, the Tigers were manhandled on the football field, 29-7, by South Carolina's SEC Eastern Division champs. Andre Ellington was coming off a foot injury and was in for just a couple of plays in the Tigers' loss that night.
So Clemson hoped to end 2010 with their seventh consecutive basketball victory over the Gamecocks. That streak of success was achieved under the leadership of former coach Oliver Purnell. But with Purnell gone to DePaul, South Carolina fans thought it was the perfect time for the Gamecocks to start a streak of their own.
And South Carolina started quickly. Ellington had five points and Malik Cooke two baskets as the Gamecocks opened a 13-4 lead. South Carolina's margin was still 20-13 when Clemson took off on a 10-0 run to take the lead.
It wouldn't last, however, as the Gamecocks pressed their advantage under the boards.
Johndre Jefferson, a 6-foot-9 forward, had an inside basket and Sam Muldrow, also 6-9, followed with a go-ahead dunk. Brian Richardson made a pair of 3s and South Carolina stretched things to 34-29.
Young, however, collected a loose ball and made a basket as time ran out that left Clemson down 34-31 at the break.
The Gamecocks appeared to take control midway through the second half when Cooke's inside shot put them ahead 43-35. The Tigers, though, tied things over the next four minutes as Stitt and Young had 3s.
South Carolina wasn't going to let this one slip away. Muldrow had four consecutive points and Ellington a basket before the freshman's clinching 3-pointer.
Ellington was 3-of-3 from behind the arc.