Mississippi State at South Carolina
February 23, 2006
Colonial Center (Columbia, S.C.)
South Carolina Game Notes
* Thursday's win improved Carolina to 17-9 overall and 7-6 in Southeastern Conference play, while Mississippi State dipped to 6-20 overall and 1-12 in the SEC. With only one game remaining in the regular season, Carolina is assured of at least a .500 record in SEC play this year.
* Including Thursday's win, the Gamecocks have won five games in a row seven of their last eight.
* With Thursday's win, the Gamecocks swept the season series from Mississippi State, as Carolina claimed a 51-46 win in Starkville on February 5.
* Including Thursday's win, South Carolina has won nine more games than it did all of last season, marking the largest improvement of any team in any of the six power conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac-10) from a year ago.
* Carolina senior Olga Gritsaeva was honored prior to Thursday's game, as the contest marked the final regular-season home game at the Colonial Center of her career.
* Mississippi State senior Blessing Chekwa did not make the trip to Columbia with her team, as she was suspended for violating team rules.
* The Gamecocks took a 35-20 lead into the locker room at halftime, marking the 21st time that Carolina led at the half this year, and the sixth consecutive game in which the Gamecocks led at intermission.
* South Carolina went on an 11-0 run midway through the second half to take a 43-32 lead and turn it into a 54-32 cushion.
* Melanie Johnson finished Thursday's game with 16 points, marking the 13th time this season and the 21st time in her career that she scored in double figures. In those 21 games, Carolina has compiled an 18-3 record.
* Lakesha Tolliver finished Thursday's game with 11 points, marking the third consecutive game in which the Columbia native has reached double figures, as she scored 16 points vs. Ole Miss last Sunday and added 19 points vs. Longwood on Tuesday. She also dished out a career-high four assists and matched a career high with three steals.
* South Carolina held Mississippi State scoreless for the last 7:14 of the first half. Lady Bulldog forward Robin Porter knocked down a jumper at the 18:18 mark of the second half to end the MSU scoring drought at eight minutes and 56 seconds.
* Mississippi State and South Carolina met in Starkville earlier in the year, with Carolina claiming a 51-46 win at Humphrey Coliseum behind an 18-point, six-rebound, four-block effort from Melanie Johnson.
* The Gamecocks are back in action when they travel to Nashville, Tenn., to face Vanderbilt at 3 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday at Memorial Gym. The game will be loaded with seeding implications for the SEC Tournament and has potential NCAA implications as well. Sunday's game will be broadcast live on WISW 1320 AM-Radio in Columbia, with Andy Demetra handling play-by-play and Robin Muller providing analysis.