South Carolina knocks off Auburn 68-56

Published 10:19 pm Saturday, January 10, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Zam Fredrick scored 27 points to lead South Carolina to a 68-56 victory over Auburn on Saturday night.

The Gamecocks (12-2, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) turned a two-point halftime advantage into a 19-point lead on the strength of a 21-4 run in the opening 8:02 of the second half. South Carolina was 10 of 15 from the field with one 3-pointer during the run.

The Tigers (10-5, 0-1) had eight turnovers and were 2 of 8 from the field in that stretch.

“We thought transition was going to be the biggest key, and they got way too many easy baskets,” South Carolina coach Darrin Horn said. “The second one was rebounding, and they got way too many putbacks in the first half. I think in the second half they had to work harder to get their shots early on, and we took away those easy baskets and then we got a couple of baskets.”

Auburn cut the lead to seven with more than 3 minutes remaining, but that was as close as the Tigers would get.

The Gamecocks forced 24 turnovers and shot 46.4 percent despite going 4 of 17 from 3-point range.

Fredrick was the only Gamecock in double figures.

“I had open opportunities, and fortunately they were falling,” Fredrick said. “We knew we didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing in the first half and we still had the lead. We talked among ourselves, and once we did the things we need to do, we pushed the lead up.”

DeWayne Reed led Auburn with 21 points and Tay Waller added 12.