Feb. 6, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of South Carolina women's basketball team dropped a close ball game to Auburn, 56-47, on Sunday afternoon in front 5,112 fans at the Colonial Center. The Gamecocks led with just over three minutes remaining in the game, but the Tigers got a couple of timely shots and made their free throws on the way to the win. USC is now 6-16 on the season and 0-8 in Southeastern Conference play while Auburn improved to 12-9 overall and 3-5 in the league.
The first half was fairly tight with Auburn leading the majority of the way. The Tigers' biggest lead was seven, 16-9, at the 10:03 mark. Over the next six minutes, South Carolina executed a 10-2 run, capped by Lauren Simms' driving basket with 4:00 remaining in the half. That basket gave the Gamecocks their first lead at 19-18. Auburn closed the half with an 8-4 run of its own to regain the lead and head to the locker room on top, 26-23.
Angela Hunter paced USC with nine points on a trio of three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Louise Emeagi led the Tigers with 15 points.
Auburn scored a pair of baskets to start the second half, but South Carolina promptly responded by scoring the next eight points and going on a 14-2 run to take a 37-32 lead with 8:08 to play. The Gamecocks built the advantage to eight points, 41-33, at the 6:26 mark.
The Tigers' Alexis Ogubie knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game at 44 with 3:17 remaining. The two teams traded baskets but Auburn took control and hit six free throws in the final minute to ice the game.
Melanie Johnson sparked USC in the second half as she scored all nine of her points after intermission and pocketed four steals. Carolina's defense forced 21 turnovers, which tied the most turnovers forced by the Gamecocks against an SEC opponent this year (Tennessee also had 21 turnovers on Jan. 21).
USC converted Auburn's miscues into 16 points. The Gamecocks also out-scored the Tigers 20-6 in fast break points.
For Auburn, Emeagi finished with a game-high 17 points. Natasha Brackett scored 11 and Nicole Louden added 10.
Sophomore guard Lea Fabbri missed today's game. Fabbri traveled home to Croatia because her father is in the hospital.
South Carolina plays at Georgia on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
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