- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Stephen Curry scored 32 points as Davidson started its latest postseason run with a 70-63 victory over South Carolina on Tuesday night in the NIT.

The stage may not have been as large as the Wildcats’ NCAA tournament upsets a year ago, but Curry was just as spectacular.

The game was tied 51-all after Devan Downey’s driving basket with 9:15 to go. Then Curry scored 13 of his team’s last 17 points over the next 8 minutes as Davidson (27-7) took control.

Andrew Lovedale had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats will play either St. Mary’s or Washington State in the second round.

Downey had 18 points to lead South Carolina (21-10).

Curry pretty much picked up where he left off in the NCAA’s a year ago when he averaged 34 points over four games in leading Davidson into the round of eight before falling to champion Kansas.

This time, Curry opened the game with 25-foot 3-pointer. He scored 12 of team’s first 23 points as the Wildcats opened an 11-point lead.

But Curry picked up his second foul soon after and spent much of the rest of the period on the bench.

The Gamecocks tried several defenders on Davidson’s star junior. Downey, tied for third nationally with three steals a game, started. Zam Fredrick, Evaldas Baniulis and Branden Conrad all took their turns shadowing the NCAA’s top scorer.

South Carolina didn’t help itself with awful shooting. At one point the Gamecocks were 4 of 19 overall while Davidson was 4-for- 6 on 3-pointers.

South Carolina took advantage of Curry’s bench time, closing the half with a 14-3 run. Downey, an all-Southeastern Conference performer, looked out of control most of the half as he began 0-of-3 with three turnovers.

However, his spinning, twisting drive with 2 seconds left moved the Gamecocks within 28-26.

Curry got going quickly in the second with Davidson’s first four points. He only managed a 3-pointer the next 10 minutes as South Carolina rallied at home, where it had lost only twice before this season.

Things began to change in Davidson’s favor when Gamecock coach Darrin Horn was called for a technical foul. Curry made both foul shots to make it 55-51.

Curry continued his hot stretch the rest of the way.

During a stoppage in the last minute, Curry pointed to a group of Davidson fans celebrating the Southern Conference champions’ latest win over a team from a power conference.

(This version CORRECTS Davidson 70, South Carolina 63; SUBS 3rd graf to corrects Curry’s scoring run.)

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