March 1, 2008
Head Coach Jeff Lebo
"In this one, Downey controlled the game, he is outstanding. In the first half, defensively, we were good enough, but I thought that they would beat us from the three point line, and then they went three of 16. We shot the ball poorly, 5-23. The first half defensively we were good, but live ball turnovers gave Downey at least five lay-ups in the first half. If that wasn't the case, we might have been up 10 or 12 at the half. Holmes played terrific for them. He made some key jump shots and about 14 turn around jumpers over the top of us. We were not sharp offensively or defensively, mentally or physically, and if were not sharp we can't get a lot done. I have to give them credit. They really bothered us with their defense."
On being mentally ready to play
"I knew it was coming. I told them before the game, I could tell we weren't ready. These are the games, we have to gut out and find a way to win. We can play better than how we played today, and we just aren't mature enough to handle a big game at home. These are the ones we have to be able to handle if you want be competitive in this league. They played well on the road, they had wins at Arkansas and Ole Miss on the road, those are tough places to play."
On what was said in the locker room pre-game
"I told them this was a test of maturity. I told them I knew what they were thinking by looking at South Carolina's record, but they're better than their record. I could feel it in (Auburn players) body language and in the way we practiced the last couple days."
South Carolina Post-game quotes
South Carolina Head Coach Dave Odom
"I felt like we got a good start. Then we went kind of cold there. There was a period of about six or seven minutes in the firs half where we did not score. They jumped out on us eight or 10 points there. I was really proud of our team at that point though because they didn't panic. They just kept playing and we eventually got back in the game. I was very pleased at half-time to only be three points down. I got the sense at half-time our team was committed to winning. I also got the sense at the end of the 1st half that Auburn was tiring. It is not secret they really play the game with six players. They do a good job of staying in games and winning games with only six players. We came out in the 2nd half and there were a lot of lead changes. I told my team if we start making shots and defending them fatigue would play a factor on our side in our favor. I thought somewhere around the 10 minute mark I thought we were able to get some breakaways. Devan Downey got going a little bit and he pushed the ball out there and it was a little more than they could handle at that time. But like any good team, and all of Jeff Lebo's teams are always very well coached, they will come back on you. We are not a great close out team. We opened the door with some missed free-throws. I know we fouled them on two drives to the basket that counted and free throws to follow. Those are two things you don't want to do. Thankfully Dwayne Day hit his two free throws and Brandis Raley-Ross hit his two free throws. Those gave us the margin to win the basketball game. Downey had a great game. He played all 40 minutes. Mike Holmes had a career scoring day and also did a good job on the boards.
"One thing we did not want to do today was to shoot many threes. We shot 16 today, and it would be 30 if I didn't tell them not to. I told them we need to work the ball inside to Holmes. It was a great win for us. This is a crazy series. I think the last 6 times now the visiting team has won."
South Carolina Player Quotes
Devan Downey, Sophomore Guard
"It was said we have been throwing in the towel and giving up in the last couple of games, I know we can't control what people say, but we can control the way we play. So, we went back to practicing hard. We played hard tonight and finished the game with a win."
On close game
"We just put them on the three throw line too much at the end which allowed the score to become close. We were real tentative."