Vanderbilt Run Keys Win Over Carolina, 65-50

NASHVILLE, TENN. – A pair of big second-half runs allowed Vanderbilt (13-10, 3-7 SEC) to overcome a halftime deficit to take down Carolina (11-11, 2-8) 65-50. Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice each scored in double figures to lead the Gamecocks. The Commodores started the game with a 6-0 advantage after the Gamecocks missed three field goals and three turnovers in the first five minutes of action. The fortunes would be shifted at the mid-way point in the half, when Carolina’s defense held Vanderbilt without a point for a six-minute stretch to take its first lead of the day. Trailing 13-7 with 11:25 to play, an 8-0 run by the Gamecocks put them ahead, with Mindaugas Kacinas putting the bow on the run with his second field goal of the game. The scoring was balanced for Carolina throughout the first half, with seven different players with at least one field goal made. Vanderbilt would take a brief 19-18 lead, but the Gamecocks finished the final three minutes with an 8-3 burst to take a 26-22 lead into halftime. Brian Steele was the catalyst, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in that stretch. The hot finish to the half would not stay in the locker room for Carolina. It would make its first four field goals to start and built a 36-25 lead with 18 minutes to play. Both teams would hit a scoring drought simultaneously after that, benefitting the Gamecocks. They would lead by double digits for most of the first ten minutes of the half, led by five points from Thornwell and Notice in that stretch alone. It would be a second scoreless stretch for Carolina that would be the difference in the game, as it went 5:20 without a point, allowing the home side to embark on a 18-0 run to turn a 43-31 Gamecock lead into a 49-43 game with seven minutes still to go. Notice’s absence due to foul trouble was felt hard as the Gamecocks held a 10-point lead before he picked up his fourth foul. By the time he re-entered, Vanderbilt held a 50-46 lead. While the scoring drought would end momentarily, the `Dores were able to maintain a two-possession lead for the rest of the game. It closed the contest out with a 10-0 run in the final four minutes for the final 15-point advantage. They relied on a strong rebounding effort to create extra possessions and limited Carolina to just four offensive rebounds, the fewest in any game this season.

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