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November 28, 2008CHARLESTON -- South Carolina took the floor and looked into a mirror.
College of Charleston seemed to be a mirror image of USC -- players with lengthy wingspans who loved to run the floor. The Gamecocks seemed to be dragging at the end of the game, although coach Darrin Horn said that wasn't an excuse for the 82-80 overtime loss.
"They played really similar to us and had a better night than us tonight," Horn said.
BOX 'EM UP: Make it 0-for-1 in the garnet uniforms.
USC went with its garnet unis over the black alternates on Friday. It may not have worked for the win column, but at least they meshed well with the Cougars' gold togs.
END OF THE STREAK: The Gamecocks once again came up short on their previous streak of every starter holding at least one steal. Mike Holmes didn't get one and USC didn't accomplish the feat for the second straight game.
The six steals USC had was its lowest total of the season.
BIG MAN: Holmes posted his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds, but only two were on the offensive glass. Holmes came into the game leading the SEC with 24 offensive boards, six more than second-place Jarvis Varnado of Mississippi State.
WAIT A MINUTE: College of Charleston announced its lineup to the "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" song, which was used by USC before Horn took over. Maybe it was the Bobby Cremins influence -- he could have picked it up from Dave Odom from his two previous visits to Columbia.
NICE DIGS: Carolina First Arena had the look of an NBA arena, just a quarter of the size. Attendance was announced as 5,032, which seemed to be just a few seats short of a sellout.
The bleachers at one end were reserved for students, which took a slight hit probably due to the Thanksgiving break. But one student showed up in his Cremins white wig and another sported a T-shirt reading "Student Section."
NO WAITING: The fans didn't waste any time getting on the officials, when USC lost the opening tip but the referees awarded the Gamecocks the ball after it was ruled the Cougars violated a jumpball rule. The boos didn't let up for much of the duration until Charleston spurted ahead.
CELEBRITIES: USC President Harris Pastides and his wife took in the game and Charleston sent Charlie the RiverDog over from the minor-league baseball franchise. There was no sign of Charlie's girlfriend Chelsea.