COLUMBIA - Frank Booker scored 19 points, and South Carolina built a 26-point lead before holding on to defeat No. 10 Auburn 84-75 on Saturday, ending the Gamecocks' six-game losing streak.
The Tigers (23-4, 11-3 Southeastern Conference) had won seven of their past eight and were heavy favorites to keep that going at South Carolina (14-13, 5-9). Instead, the Gamecocks used a 21-1 run in the first half on the way to a 37-11 lead.
Auburn played most of the game without starting forward Anfernee McLemore, who dislocated his left ankle in a gruesome-looking injury at the end of the first half. Still, the Tigers rallied to within 64-59 on Bryce Brown's free throws with 6:58 to go.
But South Carolina scored the next seven points to restore the double-digit lead, and Auburn could get no closer than six points the rest of the way.
South Carolina beat a top-10 program for the third straight season and defeated its first top-10 team at home since taking out No. 1 Kentucky in January 2010.
Chris Silva had 14 points and 11 rebounds for South Carolina, his sixth double-double of the season.
Mustapha Heron led Auburn with 16 points, just four of those coming in the second half. Brown, the Tigers' leading scorer this season, was held to 10 points (six fewer than his average) on 3-of-16 shooting.
Auburn has been the surprise of the SEC season so far. Things may get harder with McLemore out.
McLemore came down hard late in the first half while on defense. He immediately began shouting and medical personnel quickly surrounded him underneath the basket. Auburn coach Bruce Pearl and South Carolina coach Frank Martin came out to check on the 6-foot-7 sophomore, who was diagnosed with a dislocated left ankle and taken off the court on a stretcher before being transported to a hospital for X-rays.
Before leaving, McLemore sat up and waved at the cheering crowd.
Auburn: The Tigers' run to an SEC crown and beyond could take a dent with McLemore sidelined. The Tigers' tallest players among those in the regular rotation are 6-8 forwards Horace Spencer and Chuma Okeke. Spencer had started six games this season while Okeke has come off the bench all season.
South Carolina: It's hard to know what's going on with the Gamecocks. They've beaten three top-25 opponents in No. 18 Kentucky, No. 20 Florida and now, the 10th-ranked Tigers. They've also lost by double digits this month against Texas A&M and Arkansas. South Carolina will need to channel the effort against Auburn if it hopes to make some noise down the stretch.
Auburn returns home to play state rival Alabama on Wednesday night.
South Carolina ends a two-game homestand on Wednesday night against Georgia.
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