AUBURN, Ala. --- Devan Downey scored 33 points to lead South Carolina to an 80-71 win over Auburn on Saturday in both team's Southeastern Conference opener.
Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said his team tried everything against Downey, the second leading scorer in the SEC with 18.5 a game.
"My fears came true in this game," Lebo said. "Devan Downey was just unbelievable. We guarded him every which way you can guard him and he beat it every which way you can beat it. Then he made 3s. When he's making 3s, you don't guard him."
Downey shot just 4 for 12 in the first half to lead his team with 10 points. The Gamecocks (10-5) leading scorer with 18.5 per game, scored 23 in the second half to lead all scorers in the road win.
Downey also fought off eight turnovers while the Gamecocks committed 17 as a team. Sam Muldrow added 12 points to go along with four blocked shots for South Carolina while Brandis Raley-Ross scored 11. Austin Steed, a former Butler player, had 10 points off the bench.
"A lot of us expect to see what we got out of Devan Downey tonight, even though 33 (points) is a terrific game," South Carolina coach Darrin Horn said. "Devan is a special one and we all know that, but everybody else did what they can do."
South Carolina trailed 7-0 to start the game after turning the ball on three of its first five possessions. The Gamecocks redeemed themselves and led 32-29 at the break. The first half included seven ties and five lead changes.
Auburn (9-7) struggled with the Gamecocks' full court press, but tied the game at 52-52 with 10:06 to play. South Carolina went on an 8-0 run and never looked back.
"It's what (full-court press) we do," Downey said. "We feed off of it. That's South Carolina basketball. Its just what we do everyday."
Reserve Brendon Knox led Auburn with 22 points, DeWayne Reed scored 19, Lucas Hargrove had 12 and Frankie Sullivan added 10.