CHARLESTON, S.C. - Despite Augustus Gilchrist's 19 points and seven rebounds, the University of South Florida men's basketball team came up three points short, 69-66, to South Carolina Friday night in the Charleston Classic at Carolina First Arena.
USF (3-1) will play North Carolina-Wilmington at 3:30 p.m. in a consolation game Sunday.
USF jumped out to a 10-point lead early in the first half against South Carolina, but the Gamecocks cut the margin to six at halftime.
South Carolina took a 40-38 lead at the 14:36 mark of the second half. While they never gave up the lead from that point on, the game was tight the remainder of the way.
"I thought the first four minutes of the second half we let our guard down and let them get momentum," said Head Coach Stan Heath. "This game is a game of momentum and runs, and the start of the second half was big for them."
Clutch free-throw shooting aided the Gamecocks down the stretch against the Bulls, as South Carolina made 11 of 14 in the last 1:49.
USF outrebounded USC 22-15 in the first half, but were upended in that category, 24-15 in the second half.
The Bulls outshot the Gamecocks 43.8 percent to 37.1 percent from the field and 38.5 percent to 11.8 percent from the arc.
Junior Dominique Jones was one rebound away from recording back-to-back double-doubles, scoring 17 points and pulling down nine rebounds, all on the defensive end. Jones had 10 rebounds and 17 points in his last game, against Davidson (Nov. 19).
Gilchrist, who had 19 points and seven rebounds, has led the team in scoring in three of four games this season. Against USC, Gilchrist had 19 points, 10 of which came at the free throw line.
Gilchrist has hit at least 10 free throws in each of the past two games. Against Davidson, he was 15-of-16 and against USC he hit 10-of-12.
Freshman Shaun Noriega scored his first points of his career, a three-pointer with 55 seconds left in the game, to bring the score within five.
USF 66, South Carolina 69
Nov. 20, 2009
-USF came up three points short, 69-66, to South Carolina Friday night in the second round of the Charleston Classic. USF next faces UNC-Wilmington on Sunday at 3:30 p.m., in the final day of the Classic.
- South Carolina, who was receiving votes in the AP Poll this week, was averaging 19.3 points per game more than USF heading into the game.
-With the loss, USF is 1-3 against South Carolina with three-straight losses to the Gamecocks. USF defeated USC 85-83 in 1975-76 in Tampa, but lost both games on the road in 1976-77 (86-63) and 2004-05 (72-70).
-Head coach Stan Heath is in his 23rd season of coaching, ninth as a head coach and third at USF. He has posted a 136-119 overall record and is 24-42 at USF. Heath has made three NCAA appearances (2002-Kent State, 2006 and 2007- Arkansas) in his eight-year career.
- USF outrebounded USC 22-15 in the first half, but were upended in that category, 24-15 in the second half.
- USC took the four-point lead just two minutes into the game, but USF went on a 19-7 run over the next eight minutes to take the eight-point lead. USC tied the game with 15:26 left in the second and never relinquished the lead.
- USF hit 43.8 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from the arc and 70.4 from the line. USC was 37.1 from the field, 11.8 percent from long range and 70 percent at the line.
- Sophomore Augustus Gilchrist has led the team in scoring and rebounding in three of four games this season. Against USC, Gilchrist had 19 points, 10 of which came at the free throw line.
- Gilchrist has hit at least 10 free throws in each of the past two games. Against Davidson, he was 15-of-16 and against USC he hit 10-of-12.
- Junior Dominique Jones was one rebound away from recording back-to-back double-doubles. Jones had 10 rebounds and 17 points against Davidson (Nov. 19) and 17 points and nine rebounds against South Carolina (Nov. 20).
- Jones and Gilchrist have scored in double-digits in all four games this season.
-Jones hit a three at the final buzzer to seal his 17-point game.
- Freshman Shaun Noriega scored his first points of his career, a three-pointer with 55 seconds left in the game, to bring the score within five.
- With four assists in the game, senior guard Chris Howard continues to chase the record for career assists. He started the game with 370, and now trails No. 6 Cedric Smith's 384 by 10.