South Carolina Tops Kentucky, 60-47, in Home Finale|
Feb. 24, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. - In its final regular season home game, the South Carolina women's basketball team defeated Kentucky, 60-47, Thursday night inside the Colonial Center. The Gamecocks, winners of back-to-back Southeastern Conference games, improved to 8-19 overall and 2-11 in league play, while the Wildcats slipped to 14-14 and 3-10 in the SEC.
Iva Sliskovic continued her recent offensive surge for South Carolina. The sophomore forward was perfect from the field, hitting on all eight of her field goal attempts. She finished with 16 points to score in double-figures for the third consecutive contest.
Spurred by Sliskovic's career-best 15 rebounds, Carolina ruled the glass, out-rebounding UK, 51-38.
Sliskovic's double-double was the first of the season and fifth of her career. Sophomore Stacy Booker was next with 15 points, hitting double-figures for the third time in the last four games. Sophomore Angela Hunter chipped in with 13 points, including an 8-of-11 effort at the free throw line.
Both teams were short-handed for Thursday's contest. Sophomore Lauren Simms, the Gamecocks' captain and leading scorer, left the game against Alabama (Feb. 20) with a right-knee injury and was not available. Simms has been diagnosed with a sprained right knee and will be re-evaluated in a week.
Kentucky came to Columbia without starting center Jennifer Humphrey and Keiko Tate. Both players did not make the trip due to a violation of team rules. The Wildcats were already playing with a depleted roster after losing two players to season-ending knee injuries. On Thursday, head coach Mickie DeMoss had only three players available on the bench.
Carolina held Kentucky without a field goal for nearly six minutes from 15:36 to 9:48 in the second half.
During that stretch, USC put together a 9-0 run to take a 36-28 lead at the 11:29 mark. The Gamecocks scored nine straight points again from the 6:54 to 4:38 mark. USC was able to hold Kentucky at bay by knocking down enough free throws the rest of the way.
Carolina and Kentucky battled to a 22-22 deadlock in the opening half with neither team holding a lead of more than seven points.
Sliskovic led the Gamecocks in the opening half with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting. Sophomore Melanie Johnson was productive as well, scoring six points on 2-of-3 shooting in eight minutes of action.
South Carolina wraps up its regular season on Sunday, Feb. 27, at Ole Miss. Tip time is at 3 p.m. USC then travels to Greenville, S.C., for the Southeastern Conference Tournament, beginning March 6 at the Bi-Lo Center.