Gamecocks Topple No. 14 Minnesota, 79-61|
Dec. 13, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina women's basketball team romped to a 79-61 win over No. 14 Minnesota on Tuesday evening at the Colonial Center.
In a total team effort, South Carolina (3-3) shot 58 percent from the field and held Minnesota (6-2), who came into the game ranked No. 10 in the nation in field goal percentage offense (.486) to .395 shooting. The Gamecocks also pressured the Golden Gophers into 23 turnovers, while only committing a season low 12. The Gophers' only loss prior to tonight's game came on the road at then-No. 21 New Mexico, 66-42, on Nov. 30.
South Carolina had come close to knocking off a pair of top 20 opponents earlier this season. USC led both No. 18 Texas (Nov. 25) and No. 19 Purdue (Nov. 26) at the half, but fell short in the end. Tonight's victory marked Carolina's first win over a ranked opponent since a 83-59 triumph over No. 13 Arkansas on Feb. 16, 2003. The Gamecocks' last regular season win over a ranked non-conference opponent came on Nov. 30, 2002, a 54-51 victory over No. 18 Boston College.
The Gamecocks jumped out early and never looked back. Minnesota scored the game's first basket, but South Carolina responded with a 13-0 run. The Gamecocks knocked down six of their first eight shots, while holding the Golden Gophers to just one made basket in their first 10 attempts. South Carolina's hot-shooting continued. The Gamecocks hit 56.3 percent from the field while limiting Minnesota to 28.6 percent in the first half.
Junior Shannel Harris provided an offensive spark for USC, netting a career-high 10 points in the first 20 minutes of the game to lead all scorers. Eight Carolina players cracked the scoring column, and the Gamecocks took good care of the ball, turning it over just three times, while pressuring Minnesota into 12 miscues.
The Gamecocks owned a 39-21 halftime advantage. USC has led at the break in all six of its games this season. Carolina built its lead to as many as 27 points in the second and let Minnesota no closer than 16.
Four Gamecocks scored in double figures and seven Gamecock players had at least seven points in the victory. Harris paced Carolina with 13, while freshman Demetress Adams scored 11 points, reaching double figures for the third time in her young career. Junior Lea Fabbri knocked down 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting, her best output of the season, and junior Iva Sliskovic had 10 points to go with a team-high seven rebounds. Lauren Simms had nine points and a game-high five assists, which tied her career high.
Liz Podominick led the Gophers with a game and career-high 21 points.
The Gamecocks continue a stretch of five home games in nine days on Thursday, Dec. 17, when Ohio visits the Colonial Center. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.