Jan. 8, 2006
Lexington, Ky. - The South Carolina women's basketball team suffered a 72-60 loss to Kentucky Sunday in front of 4,234 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
South Carolina dipped to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in Southeastern Conference play with the loss, while Kentucky improved to 11-3 and 1-1 in the SEC.
Lauren Simms led the way for Carolina with 14 points and a season-high seven rebounds. Sunday's game marked the fourth time in the last six games that the junior from Columbia scored in double figures. Iva Sliskovic added 10 points and six rebounds, with Stacy Booker contributing 10 points to the Gamecock effort.
Kentucky was led by Samantha Mahoney and Carly Ormerod. Mahoney scored 20 points, with Ormerod finishing with 18 points.
Kentucky raced out to a 22-8 lead after Jenny Pfeiffer converted a four-point play at the 11:12 mark and Carly Ormerod followed that up with her second trey of the first half. Three-pointers were the name of the game for Kentucky early on, as five of the Wildcats' first eight field goals came from beyond the arc. The Gamecocks, meanwhile, struggled from the perimeter, converting on only one of nine from three-point range in the first half.
Kentucky took a 39-21 lead into the locker room at halftime. UK's 39 points marked the highest total allowed by the Gamecocks in a first half all season, easily surpassing the previous high of 29 points scored by both Texas and Georgia Southern. The Wildcats cashed in on Gamecock turnovers in the first half, holding a 10-0 advantage in points off turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Simms and Sliskovic led Carolina in the first half with six points apiece.
After getting off to the fast start, Kentucky led by double-digits for the majority of the contest, but Carolina trimmed the Wildcat lead to 66-58 with just over two minutes remaining in the contest. Kentucky regrouped, however, and held off the late Gamecock charge to seal the win.
Entering Sunday's game, Kentucky's three-point shooting vs. South Carolina's three-point defense appeared as if it was going to be a key stat, as the Wildcats entered the contest shooting 39.9 percent from three-point range for the season, while Carolina had limited the opposition to 25.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Entering Sunday's game, Carolina had won five of its last eight meetings with the Wildcats overall and had left Lexington victorious in two of its last four trips.
The Gamecocks return to action when they travel to Baton Rouge, La., to face the No. 3 LSU Tigers at 8 p.m. ET Thursday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The game will be broadcast live in Columbia on WISW 1320 AM radio with Andy Demetra handling play-by-play and Robin Muller providing analysis. The game will also be broadcast worldwide on the official web site of Carolina athletics, www.uscsports.com.
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