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February 18, 2012

USC-LSU Hoops Extra



Malik Cooke eyed the rim and set his feet, then rose as he had countless times before.

The shot, for three points, swished through the net and Cooke headed back up the court. That's what it was supposed to do, you know?

But it meant a lot more.

The 3 gave Cooke 1,001 for his career, including the two years he played at Nevada before transferring to USC. Cooke ended Saturday's 68-58 loss to LSU with 17 points, which pushed him to 1,011 for his career.

"It's good, I guess," Cooke said. "Would have been nicer if it would have come in a win."

Cooke will most likely not be recognized in South Carolina's list of 1,000-point career scorers, due to the two years at Nevada. The players in USC's scoring list are only recognized for their accomplishments at USC.

Devan Downey, who ended his career ranked fourth in USC's scoring history, doesn't have his one year at Cincinnati in his total. He scored 1,901 points in just three seasons as a Gamecock.

RECOGNIZE: The Gamecocks took the court for warm-ups wearing special T-shirts that read, "Thank You Dodie." Booster Dodie Anderson, who contributed the funds for the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center ("The Dodie"), also gave money to renovate USC's locker room.

Anderson attended the game.

BANGED UP: Bruce Ellington, who sprained a toe against Georgia, was fine, as was Eric Smith, who was under the weather against the Bulldogs. But the injury report wasn't just limited to the team on Saturday.

Carroll Senn, engineer/producer for the Gamecock Basketball Radio Network since 1981, was also at the game. He was slightly limping after a strange and frightening incident on Friday.

Senn was installing a garage door at his home when a fox ran into his driveway. Before Senn could think what to do, the fox was on him.

It bit him twice, in the leg and the side, before Senn finally kicked the animal off. The fox, before it attacked, had blood on its mouth.

Senn warned the rest of his neighborhood and then went to the doctor. He has to undergo a series of rabies shots but is feeling fine.

BACK ON THE BENCH: Assistant coach Mike Boynton was at the game as well. He was required to attend USC's meeting with the NCAA Committee on Infractions in Los Angeles on Friday, but made it back to Columbia in time for the game.

Boynton was named in USC's report on violations but the unidentified recruit that he was targeted for never attended USC.

LOOKALIKES: LSU's entire coaching staff dressed in matching khaki pants, white shirts and black sweater vests. Some wore buttons reading "On The Line." The look was in support of prostate cancer awareness for African-American men.

Other coaches around the league, such as Alabama's Anthony Grant and Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin, also supported the movement. Grant and Martin each wore bow ties during their games.

UGH: USC clinched the 16th non-winning season in its 21-year tenure in the SEC two losses ago, but Saturday extended another sour streak. The Gamecocks, with their 10th loss of the SEC season, have now had double-digit losing seasons in the conference for three straight years.

In the 21 years in the SEC, USC has only had three winning seasons, and two 8-8 seasons. They have lost at least 10 SEC games in 15 of those years, with only one 7-9 year under coach Dave Odom breaking the skid.

The worst SEC season the program has had is 3-13, hit twice (once under Steve Newton, once under Eddie Fogler). The Gamecocks, with only two SEC wins, are at Vanderbilt next, then finish with home games against Tennessee and Mississippi State and a game at Georgia.

SEC STANDINGS
Team SEC Overall
Kentucky 12-0 26-1
Florida 8-3 20-6
Vanderbilt 7-4 18-8
Mississippi State 6-5 19-7
Alabama 6-6 17-9
LSU 6-6 16-10
Tennessee 6-6 14-13
Arkansas 5-6 17-9
Ole Miss 5-7 15-11
Auburn 3-8 13-12
Georgia 3-8 12-13
South Carolina 2-10 10-16
Saturday's games
Alabama 62, Tennessee 50
LSU 68, South Carolina 58
Kentucky 77, Ole Miss 62
Florida at Arkansas
Mississippi State at Auburn
Sunday's game
Vanderbilt at Georgia

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