New house filled to capacity
Published: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 2:49 a.m.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina opened its new arena on Nov. 24, but it took the arrival of No. 6 Florida to show it at its capacity.
Through South Carolina's first eight home games, the average attendance was 12,449, more than 5,000 below the 17,600 capacity. The biggest crowd was 14,922 which happened on the night the Carolina Center was opened against East Tennessee State.
Saturday night, it was sold out (17, 038).
It was the second time in as many SEC road games this season that Florida's arrival has produced a school's first sellout of the season. In the conference opener at Mississippi State, 10,541 filled Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, more than 6,000 than what the Bulldogs had been averaging.
While the Gamecocks had gone 7-1 in their first eight games at the Carolina Center, the Gators may have been the first "quality opponent" South Carolina fans could see. The only other decent teams the Gamecocks have hosted have been Auburn, Temple and Ole Miss.
Saturday night, South Carolina center Tony Kitchings looked better than any of them.
Kitchings had missed several games this season with a broken hand, but nothing appeared to be bothering him against the Gators.
Kitchings scored the first eight points of the game for the Gamecocks and made 9 of his first 12 shots. Entering the game, Kitchings' season high had been 11, Saturday night he had 19 points and eight rebounds at halftime. But he was shut down in the second half, scoring just three points.
You can reach Dylan B. Tomlinson by calling 374-5054 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article