Game­cocks get the best of Bears

S. CAROLINA 70, BAY­LOR 50

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Jim O’Con­nell

new york» Ap­par­ently South Carolina is get­ting the hang of win­ning NCAA Tour­na­ment games.

The Game­cocks, who hadn’t won a tour­na­ment game since 1973, got their third this year. One more and it’s on to the Fi­nal Four.

“It’s a great win for the pro­gram,” Game­cocks guard Duane No­tice said. “It’s a good feel­ing when we con­tinue to make his­tory and I think once we get a taste of it, we kind of get ad­dicted and want to con­tinue do­ing it.”

Sin­dar­ius Thorn­well scored 24 points and sev­enth-seeded South Carolina cruised past third-seeded Bay­lor 70-50 on Fri­day night in the East Re­gional semi­fi­nals, the Bears’ worst NCAA Tour­na­ment loss.

The Game­cocks (25-10) were in con­trol from the mid­dle of the first half on, mix­ing de­fenses and hus­tling all over the Madi­son Square Gar­den court to ad­vance to the Elite Eight for the first time.

“We have been real good de­fen­sively all year, we were on point def­i­nitely to­day,” Game­cocks coach Frank Martin said.

DJ Dozier and Chris Silva had 12 points each and No­tice added 11 for the Game­cocks.

Johnathan Mot­ley had 18 points, 12 in the sec­ond half, for Bay­lor (27-8), which just couldn’t get any of­fense go­ing. The Bears, who were ranked No. 1 for one week this sea­son, missed 11 of their first 13 shots from the field and it didn’t get a whole lot bet­ter the en­tire game. They fin­ished 17-for-56 from the field (30.4 per­cent), in­clud­ing 3-for-13 from 3-point range.

Thorn­well made de­fend­ing Mot­ley sound easy.

“We stayed ag­gres­sive and made his catches hard and we knew that he likes to score in the paint and let his catches be ex­tended out­side, that way he got to take more than one drib­ble to score; he can’t just turn and shoot over the top of you,” Thorn­well said.

Mot­ley said the de­fense was “ex­tremely tough.”

“That’s what they game­planned for,” he said. “And they did a great job of ex­e­cut­ing their game plan. We couldn’t, re­ally couldn’t buy a bas­ket.”

South Carolina opened the sec­ond half on a 12-6 run to get the lead to 49-28. The largest lead was 63-41.

Bay­lor was able to close to 11 points but that was as tight as the game would get.

The Game­cocks went on a 16-0 run that lasted 7:44 in the first half. They turned a 15-15 tie into a 31-15 lead with 2:50 left in the first half. The Bears went 0-for-10 from the field and com­mit­ted four turnovers in the run.

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