Jan. 27, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. --The South Carolina women's basketball team battled the No. 5/6 team in the country toe-to-toe for nearly 27 minutes, but Tennessee produced a big second-half run and went on to win, 68-53 Thursday night at the Colonial Center. The Lady Vols extended their Southeastern Conference regular season win streak to 39 straight games and improved to 15-3 overall and 5-0 in league play. The Gamecocks' record slipped to 6-14 overall and 0-6 in the SEC.
Carolina continued its recent trend with tough defense in the first half as it forced Tennessee into 13 turnovers and converted those miscues into 17 points.
South Carolina jumped out to a 14-4 lead seven minutes into the game. Tennessee battled back and eventually took the lead at 20-19 when Brittany Jackson drained a three-pointer with 4:40 to play in the half. At the half, the Gamecocks trailed, 27-24.
Though Carolina was 0-9 this season when trailing at the half, the three-point deficit represented the smallest in any of those losses.
It was a back-and-forth game for the opening six minutes of the second half, and USC regained the lead at 37-36 on a Stacy Booker three-point basket with 13:54 remaining. It was the last time the Gamecocks would hold the advantage on the scoreboard.
Behind the senior leadership of Jackson and Shyra Ely, Tennessee mounted a 27-5 run over the next eight minutes. Ely opened the run by scoring eight points in a row. Jackson found her shooting and knocked a trio of shots from behind the arc. Ely finished with a game-high 16 points and Jackson had 15 on five three-pointers. Tye'sha Fluker matched Jackson with 15 points and Shanna Zolman had 13.
Tennessee also won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Gamecocks, 46-37.
Sliskovic was Carolina's leading scorer with a season-high 14 points. The sophomore also grabbed eight rebounds, dished out two assists to go with two steals and a block. Fabbri joined Sliskovic in double figures with 13 points and also had a game-high five assists. Booker chipped in with 12 points and Lauren Simms hit for eight.
The Gamecocks showed improvement in taking care of the basketball. USC turned the ball over 17 times, well-under its average, while Tennessee finished with 21.
USC is back on the road on Sunday, Jan. 30. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. (ET) in Lexington, Ky.
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