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South Carolina defeats Georgetown in quarters

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Carlos Powell scored 21 points and Tre Kelley added 12 in the second half to lead South Carolina to a 69-66 victory over Georgetown in the quarterfinals of the NIT on Thursday night.

The Hoyas (19-13) had two chances to tie the game late but Darrel Owens and Jeff Green each missed 3-pointers with less than 30 seconds remaining.

The Gamecocks held off a furious Georgetown rally in which Owens hit three 3-pointers in the final 2:55. His 4-point play cut South Carolina’s lead to 64-63 with 47.8 seconds to go.

But Kelley hit two free throws to put the Gamecocks back on top 66-63 with 43.1 seconds to go.

Tarence Kinsey’s free throw with 19.8 seconds left put South Carolina (18-13) ahead 67-63. Antoine Tisby grabbed the offensive rebound on the second attempt, and the Gamecocks killed more time off the clock.

South Carolina will face the winner of Saturday’s Texas Christian-Maryland game in the semifinals in New York, South Carolina’s second trip to the semis in the past four years under coach Dave Odom. Saint Joseph’s and Memphis will play in the other semifinal on Tuesday.

Kelley’s 3-pointer from the corner gave the Gamecocks a 49-47 advantage with 9:51 left, their first lead since they were ahead 11-10 midway through the first half. Kelley’s 3 came in the middle of a 17-2 run that put South Carolina ahead 57-49 with 4:56 to play. The Hoyas went 6:19 without a basket and had several turnovers during the game-changing run.

South Carolina scored the first six points of the second half to trail 34-32, but Georgetown went back up by eight with 15:16 to go.

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