Beal's runner lifts Vandy over South Carolina

Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 7:01pm

A running jump shot by Jermaine Beal with 0.6 seconds remaining lifted 23rd-ranked Vanderbilt to a 66-65 victory at South Carolina on Saturday.

It was Beal's only basket of the game, and it helped the Commodores improve to 20-4 overall and 5-4 in Southeastern Conference play. VU opens a four-game home stand Tuesday against Kentucky.

Beal's game-winner came when the Commodores in-bounded the ball with six seconds left.

"Six seconds is more than enough," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "Four can get you down the court. We ran a circular route to get it in. Their guards were confused on who they should guard, and Jermaine [Beal] took it and made the shot. Big-time players make big-time plays on the road."

Shan Foster scored 21 points to lead Vanderbilt, which reached the 20-win mark in a season for the fourth time under Coach Kevin Stallings. This is the fastest any VU team has ever gathered 20 wins in a season.

Beal's winning bucket came after South Carolina's Devan Downey hit a driving reverse lay-up with six seconds to go put the Gamecocks (11-11, 3-5) ahead.

"They made one more big play than we did at the right time," South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. "Their biggest play came at the biggest moment in the game."

Vanderbilt swept the season series against South Carolina. VU won 80-73 Jan. 9 in Nashville.

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