South Carolina downs Vanderbilt 86-76

South Carolina's Zam Fredrick (20) drives for the basket as Vanderbilt's Festus Ezele (3) and Steve Tchiengang (33) try to block the shot during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

COLUMBIA -- Devan Downey scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half to lift South Carolina to an 86-76 victory over Vanderbilt, breaking a five-game losing streak to the Commodores. The Gamecocks (15-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) surpassed their season's win totals of the last two seasons. But it was far from the cakewalk it looked like early on. South Carolina hit six of its first eight 3-pointers and was ahead 45-32 with 18:50 remaining. Then, the Gamecocks went cold and Vanderbilt (12-8, 1-5) took full advantage. The Commodores used a 17-3 run over the next 7 minutes and, when Brad Tinsley swished a 3-pointer, were ahead 49-48. That's when Downey, who came in as the SEC's second-leading scorer, took control. He hit a pair of foul shots that regained the lead for South Carolina, then followed with a spinning jumper in the lane that made it 52-49. Downey added eight more points in what turned into a 21-7 Gamecocks run. Downey closed the stretch with a driving layup to put the Gamecocks ahead 70-56, then gestured wildly to the cheering crowd when Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings called a timeout to regroup his club. Vanderbilt, which hadn't lost to South Carolina since 2006, never got closer than nine points the rest of the way. The Gamecocks hadn't won three straight SEC regular season games since the 2006 season. The Commodores did not start star sophomore A.J. Ogilvy, the team's top scorer at 15 points per game who's been battling a sore foot and flu-like symptons. Ogilvy had just three points before fouling out, marking his second straight game under double figures. He did have 11 rebounds in his 21 minutes. Vanderbilt had hoped to wipe away the memory of its loss to Florida on Saturday when the Gators made an incredible 15 3-pointers in a 94-69 victory. And then the Gamecocks started doing the same thing in a 14-0 first-half run. Bradis Raley-Ross had two 3-pointers during the run, Zam Fredrick added a jumper from beyond the arc, Mike Holmes followed with an old fashioned three- point play and then Dominique Archie hit a 3-pointer to make it 24-13. Downey had three of South Carolina's nine steals and four of its eight assists. Vanderbilt's young team had trouble handling the ball with 22 turnovers. Jeffery Taylor had 23 points to lead Vanderbilt. However, he was among three Commodores who fouled out.