Gamecocks Claim Big 81-63 Road Win At Florida|
Feb. 12, 2006
Gainesville, Fla. - With Palmetto State natives leading the way, the South Carolina women's basketball team picked up a big 81-63 win over Florida Sunday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, marking the first time since Carolina joined the Southeastern Conference in 1991-92 that the Gamecocks have won three consecutive league games on the road.
With the win, the Gamecocks improved to 13-9 overall and 4-6 in SEC play, while the Gators slipped to 18-6 overall and 6-5 in the SEC.
Junior Melanie Johnson enjoyed a career day, scoring an all-time high 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Lauren Simms scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half and freshmen Demetress Adams and Brionna Dickerson combined to score 26 points. Adams finished the game by matching her career high with 18 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
A fast-paced game throughout that featured seven ties and 10 lead changes, South Carolina was able to fight through Florida's pressure defense when it counted and did an excellent job on the offensive glass, collecting 17 offensive boards as a team. Every time the Gators appeared poised to make a run in the second half, either Adams, Johnson or Simms seemed to score right back to deflate any hopes of a Florida rally.
Johnson's effort Sunday continued a recent scoring trend on her part, as the Barnwell native scored 15 points vs. Arkansas, 18 points vs. Mississippi State and nine points vs. Kentucky in her three games prior to Sunday's contest.
The first half was played at a frantic pace and featured four ties and eight lead changes. Dickerson gave the Gamecocks a spark off the bench in the opening stanza, as the Columbia native scored all eight of her points in the first half to set a career high. Dickerson was one of three South Carolina natives to star for the Gamecocks in the first half, as both Johnson (Barnwell) and Adams (Bishopville) posted 10 points and five rebounds apiece in the opening 20 minutes.
The Gamecocks actually entered Sunday's game with higher shooting percentages from the field and from three-point range when playing on the road than when playing at the Colonial Center, and those figures held true against the Gators, with the Gamecocks draining 51.7 percent from the field.
The Gamecocks return to action when they travel to Auburn for a Thursday battle with the Tigers, set to tip off at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Thursday's game will be televised live on Fox Sports South, with Beth Mowins handling play-by-play and Debbie Antonelli providing analysis. As always, fans in the Columbia area can listen to the game live on 1320 WISW-AM radio, with Andy Demetra handling play-by-play and Robin Muller providing analysis.