South Carolina (6-11 overall; 0-3 Southeastern Conference) heads to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama (10-6 overall; 1-2 SEC) at 8 p.m. (EST) Thursday at Coleman Coliseum.
CAROLINA MAKES TV DEBUT
The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net South, with Beth Mowins handling play-by-play and Debbie Antonelli providing analysis.
ON THE AIR
The game will be broadcast live on WISW 1320 AM Columbia, with Andy Demetra handling play-by-play and Robin Muller providing analysis. For listeners outside of Columbia, the live broadcast will also be aired worldwide via the internet on the official web site of South Carolina athletics, www.uscsports.com.
ACCESSING THE WEB BROADCAST
To access the internet broadcast, go to www.uscsports.com, then click the "Audio/Video" link at the top of the screen. Follow the prompts from there to select the game you want to listen to.
SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE
Season tickets for South Carolina women's basketball are now available for only $40, making Gamecock women's hoops one of the best values in town. The Gamecocks play in the premier women's basketball conference in America, and the SEC schedule is one that gives fans the chance to see some of the best women's basketball players in America night in and night out.
THE COACHES Susan Walvius is in her eighth year at the helm of the South Carolina women's basketball program and her 15th year overall as a head coach. Prior to USC, she coached at Virginia Commonwealth and West Virginia. The 2002 SEC Coach of the Year led the Gamecocks to consecutive top-20 national finishes and NCAA tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003. Her 2002 squad advanced to the Elite Eight.
Rick Moody has led the Alabama women's basketball program since 1989, compiling a 307-167 record and making eight NCAA tournament appearances in his 16 seasons with the Crimson Tide, highlighted by a trip to the 1994 Final Four. A deacon at his church, Moody has guided Alabama to the post-season in 11 of the last 13 seasons. He is the winningest coach in Alabama history for either men or women. His son, Ben is a golfer for Troy University.
A CAROLINA WIN WOULD:
* Mark the Gamecocks' fifth win in in their last six games against Alabama.
* Be Carolina's second consecutive win over the Crimson Tide.
* Snap South Carolina's nine-game losing streak against teams from the SEC. The Gamecocks' last win over an SEC opponent was a 77-51 victory over Alabama on Feb. 12, 2004.
* Improve Susan Walvius' record against Alabama to 5-6, marking the second-highest win total for Walvius against any SEC opponent. Under Walvius, the Gamecocks have beaten Kentucky seven times and Ole Miss five times.
* Snap the Gamecocks' eight-game road losing streak against SEC opponents. South Carolina's last road win over an SEC opponent was a 79-64 victory over Ole Miss on March 2, 2003.
* Be the Gamecocks' first road win against any opponent this season. Carolina has lost to Washington, Middle Tennessee State, Virginia and Vanderbilt in its four true road games this year. Dating back to last season, the Gamecocks have lost nine consecutive road games, with the last win an 84-61 triumph over the College of Charleston on Jan. 28, 2004.
A CAROLINA LOSS WOULD:
* Move the Gamecocks to 0-4 this year in conference play and extend the Carolina's losing streak against SEC opposition to 10 games, with the last win a 77-51 victory over Alabama on Feb. 12, 2004.
* Extend the Gamecocks' road losing streak against SEC opponents to nine consecutive games. South Carolina's last road win over an SEC opponent was a 79-64 victory over Ole Miss on March 2, 2003.
* Keep the Gamecocks winless on the road this season. Carolina has lost to Washington, Middle Tennessee State, Virginia and Vanderbilt in its four true road games this year. Dating back to last season, the Gamecocks have lost nine consecutive road games, with the last win an 84-61 triumph over the College of Charleston on Jan. 28, 2004.
* Mark the Gamecocks' sixth loss in their last seven games this year.
* Mark Alabama's 13th win over South Carolina in the last 18 meetings between the two schools.
* Improve Alabama's record to 7-3 in games played against South Carolina in Tuscaloosa.
CAROLINA'S KEY NUMBERS
* 20:00 - The Gamecocks are yet to win a game in which it trailed at the half. Conversely, Carolina is 6-3 when leading after the first 20 minutes of play.
* 3/10 - South Carolina is 5-1 in games this season when three or more players score at least 10 points in the same game. The Gamecocks are 1-10 when two players or less hit double-figures.
* 40% - Carolina is 0-9 this year when shooting less than 40 percent from the field. Conversely, the Gamecocks' opposition is 7-1 when shooting 40 percent from the field.
* 66 - Dating back to a 65-54 win over Auburn on Feb. 23, 2003, USC has lost its last 25 games when scoring less than 66 points.
* 16 - Carolina is 5-0 this season in games in which it distributes 16 assists as a team.
* 10 - The Gamecocks are 0-5 this year in games decided by 10 points or less, and are 0-10 in their last 10 games decided 10 points or less, dating back to an 81-79 win over Southern Utah on Dec. 5, 2003.
* 23 - ...as in the jersey number of Melanie Johnson. In South Carolina's six wins, Johnson averages 14.8 points, 12.2 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 4.8 steals per game. In Carolina's 11 losses, Johnson averages 4.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. South Carolina is 6-1 when Johnson scores in double figures.
BLOCKING SHOTS IS CAROLINA'S SPECIALTY
South Carolina leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in blocked shots.
The Gamecocks have rejected an SEC-best 110 shots this year, for an average of 6.5 shots per game. USC's single-season school record for blocks is 115, held by the Gamecocks of 2001-02. The current team is on pace to block 181 shots. The single-season SEC record for blocked shots is 238, set by Tennessee in 1998.
MORE FROM THE SWAT TEAM
Sophomore forward Melanie Johnson and redshirt freshman forward and Columbia native Lakesha Tolliver are USC's top shot blockers. Johnson has swatted 39 shots in 17 games (2.29 per game), with Tolliver sending back 35 shots in 16 games (2.19 per game).
With the entire conference season yet to play, Tolliver has already set a new South Carolina freshman record with 35 blocks, eclipsing the existing record of 32 set in 1980-81 by Philicia Allen. The school record for blocked shots in a single-season is held by Teresa Geter, who swatted 58 shots in 2000-01.
CAROLINA DEFENSE SETS RECORD
South Carolina held the College of Charleston to 13-of-63 shooting from the field on Jan. 13 (.206 pct.) to set a new single-game Colonial Center record for field goal percentage defense for either men or women, breaking the record set just one week earlier against Mississippi State, who was limited to 16-of-65 shooting from the field (.246 pct.) The Gamecocks' defensive performance ranked as the fourth-best in school history in terms of field goal percentage defense and the lowest since holding Florida A&M to 11-of-57 shooting on Dec. 30, 2001 (.193 pct.)
DEFENSE BECOMING CAROLINA CALLING CARD
With the exception of an aberration against Vanderbilt on Jan. 9 in which the Gamecocks allowed the Commodores to score 88 points on 28-of-58 shooting from the field (48.3 percent), South Carolina has stepped up its defense lately, holding eight of its last nine opponents (Vanderbilt excluded) to an average of 51.6 points per game on 145-of-463 shooting from the field (.313 pct.)
The Gamecocks continue their brief two-game SEC road swing when they travel to Fayetteville for a 3 p.m. (EST) tip against Arkansas on Sunday at Bud Walton Arena. The game will be broadcast live on WISW 1320 AM Columbia and on the internet at www.uscsports.com, with Andy Demetra handling play-by-play and Robin Muller providing analysis.