South Carolina Falls To Virginia, 66-49|
Jan. 2, 2005
Charlottesville, Va. - Virginia's defense stifled South Carolina's offense in the second half, holding the Gamecocks to 20 points in the final stanza en route to claiming a 66-49 win at University Hall on Sunday.
With the win, Virginia improved to 10-3 overall, while South Carolina dipped to 5-8 with the loss.
The Cavalier quartet of Brandi Teamer (15 points and seven rebounds), LaTonya Blue (11 points and four assists), Brenna McGuire (12 points) and Siedah Williams (16 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field) led the way for Virginia. Angela Hunter was the only Gamecock in double figures with 13 points.
Virginia got off to a fast start from three-point range, as three of its first six field goals came from beyond the arc, sparking a 14-7 lead to start the game. From there, Teamer took over inside, rattling off nine points in a five minute stretch. With Virginia owning a 33-22 lead, South Carolina went on an 11-1 run to close the first half and begin the second half to cut the lead to 34-33 with 17:28 remaining in the game. After an Iva Sliskovic score cut the Gamecock deficit to one point, Virginia coach Debbie Ryan called timeout and the Cavaliers responded with a 17-4 run to inflate the lead to 51-37 and effectively put the game out of reach.
Strong bench play was a bright spot for South Carolina, as 19 of the Gamecocks' 29 first-half points came from players that did not start.
Carolina entered Sunday's game leading the SEC and ranking among the national leaders in blocked shots with 6.8 per game. The Gamecocks blocked three Virginia offerings. Lakesha Tolliver matched Philicia Allen's freshman record for blocked shots in a single season when she blocked a Jocelyn Logan-Friend attempt early in the game. Tolliver, who needed only one block to tie the freshman record, finished the game with two blocks to establish a new freshman record. With the entire conference schedule yet to play, Tolliver is easily on pace to surpass Teresa Geter's single-season school record of 58, set in 2001.
The Gamecocks have struggled recently away from the Colonial Center, dropping each of their last nine games played away from home. In addition, Carolina came into Sunday's game with a five-game losing streak against ACC opposition, with its last win coming over Clemson in the 2002 season opener.
The Gamecocks are back in action when they open SEC play against Mississippi State at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Colonial Center. The game will be broadcast live on 1320 WISW-AM radio with Andy Demetra handling play-by-play and Robin Muller providing analysis.