Aaron Bruce led the Bears with 15 points. (File Photo)
Dec. 9, 2006
WACO, Texas - South Carolina guard Tré Kelley hit two clutch three-pointers in the final minute and finished with 26 points to lead the Gamecocks to a 64-59 non-conference road victory over Baylor Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
Brandis Raley-Ross chipped in with 11 points for the Gamecocks (6-2), and Brandon Wallace had a game-high 12 rebounds.
"The strength of our team is shooting, and we had good looks - if you're taking bad shots, that's different," Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. "We have got to learn how to build on those leads as a young team, instead of letting a veteran team come back."
In a tightly contested first half, neither team led by more than four and there were four ties and 11 lead changes. South Carolina led by four on two occasions at 6-2 and 15-11, while Baylor took its four-point lead at 11-7.
Baylor went up by one at 27-26 on Josh Lomers' put back with 36 seconds left in the opening frame, but South Carolina answered back with a three by Raley-Ross to go back up by two with 16 seconds to go. Despite shooting 1-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half, the Bears trailed only 29-27 going into the locker room.
South Carolina hit a three to open the second half and jump out to its biggest lead at five. The Bears came back to tie the game, 34-34, but the Gamecocks hit a pair of free throws to take a 36-34 lead with 14:52 to go. From there, Baylor went on a 11-2 run over the next three minutes to take a seven-point lead. Both teams went cold as neither scored for nearly the next three minutes, until a South Carolina three broke the drought and cut the lead to 45-41.
The Gamecocks got to within one at 47-46, but a Tweety Carter three put the Bears back up by four. South Carolina came back once again to retake the lead at 51-50 on a three by Wallace and extended it to 53-50 on a putback by Dominique Archie with 2:21 left. Kelley's deep three from well beyond the top of the key put the Gamecocks up 58-54 with 1:08 left, but Bruce answered back with a 15-footer to cut the lead to 58-56 with 47 seconds left. Kelley hit another trey with the shot clock winding down with 13 seconds left, but the Bears quickly answered with a three from Henry Dugat with five seconds left. Baylor had only committed five fouls in the second half and wasted valuable time trying to get South Carolina to the line. Archie hit a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds left and two more after a failed in-bounds pass by the Bears to seal the victory.
South Carolina shot 40.4 percent from the field for the game, and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc (10-of-24), while Baylor shot 42.9 percent from the floor and only 20.8 percent from 3-point range (5-of-24). The Gamecocks also outrebounded the Bears, 38-32.
The Bears return to action when they travel to face No. 21 Syracuse Saturday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.