COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - John Jenkins had 14 points and four of Vanderbilt's 13 3-pointers as the Commodores won their sixth straight game with a 67-57 victory over South Carolina on Tuesday night.
Jenkins was held to a basket in the opening half, but found his stroke after the break to lead Vanderbilt (12-4, 2-0 SEC) to its second consecutive Southeastern Conference runaway after a 65-35 win against Auburn that started league play.
Vanderbilt led by 24 points in the final four minutes before surrendering a closing 14-0 run to South Carolina.
Vanderbilt used its defense to hold South Carolina to 12 points in the first half. Jenkins then led a 24-13 run to start the second half to take control.
Bruce Ellington had 20 points to lead the Gamecocks (8-8, 0-2).
Brad Tinsley had 13 points, three 3-pointers and nine assists for the Commodores. Jeffery Taylor had 11 points and Steve Tchiengang added 10 for Vanderbilt.
Damontre Harris had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Gamecocks.
Jenkins got things going in the second half and his teammates followed right along. Jenkins, the SEC's leading scorer at 20.3 points a game coming in, hit two wide-open 3's less than two minutes into the period as the Commodores moved in front 32-15. Jeffery Taylor added a 3 before Rod Odom, Jenkins and Dai-Jon Parker had long-range baskets on three straights trips and Vanderbilt increased the lead to 21 points.
When Taylor struck for another 3-pointer -- and Vanderbilt's 13th-- the Commodores were up 67-47.
Vanderbilt finished 13 of 22 from behind the arc against South Carolina and are 26 of 49 (53 percent) on 3's its first two SEC games.
Vanderbilt entered this one off a stellar defensive showing, holding Auburn to 35 points in 30-point victory in the Commodores' SEC opener. They came out just as solid against South Carolina.
The Gamecocks were held to five baskets, shot 19.2 percent and managed just 12 first-half points. The fact that South Carolina wasn't down by 30 was only because of some gritty defense of its own. Vanderbilt committed 11 turnovers in the period, as many as it's averaged in a game this season.
Jenkins, the SEC's leading scorer at 20.3 points a game, was limited to a bucket on two chances. But the focus on Jenkins left Tinsley open on the outside. He hit three 3-pointers -- matching his season's best showing this year -- in the half. Two of those came in 12-2 run late in the period that put the Commodores ahead 18-10.
The Commodores had trouble squeezing off shots against the Gamecocks' defense, but made of the most of their opportunities. Vanderbilt shot 53 percent (8 of 15) in the half to lead 22-12 at the break.
The Gamecocks had difficulty shooting over Vanderbilt's packed in defense. The missed all eight of their 3-point attempts, several which were desperation shots to beat the shot clock.
South Carolina, 79-64 losers at Kentucky last Saturday, had hoped a return home and a crowd of students back from break at the Colonial Life Arena would carry the team to league victory. Instead, the Gamecocks managed their fewest points in the first half since trailing Georgia 28-9 in a game here they'd eventually lose 60-56 last February.
Ellington had 18 of his 20 points in the second half.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)