Aug. 11, 2005
Hradec Kralove BBC, Czech Republic: Monday, August 8th
After two full days of travel and adjusting to the six hour time change, the Gamecock women's basketball team saw the first action of its Eastern Europe Tour. The Gamecocks took on Hradec Kralove BBC, the former club team of current Gamecock Ilona Burgrova, though she was unable to aid either team due to prior commitments to the Czech National Team at the World University Games.
The Gamecocks shook off a very sluggish start plagued by turnovers to take a 17-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. It appeared as though the time change and lack of rest had finally caught up with the team.
After shaking off the dust, the Gamecocks picked up the running game and took advantage of their speed in transition, scoring on easy and uncontested baskets. The other cause of the second quarter run was that the Gamecocks turned up their intensity on defense, using hard pressure and trapping double-teams to cause turnovers that they were able to turn into points. By the end of the first half, the Gamecocks pushed their lead to double digits, with a halftime score of 40-30.
The second half was where the Gamecocks were able to take advantage of their outside game, as well as their size inside in the post. As Hradec Kralove switched between defenses, the Gamecocks moved the ball around on offense and saw many uncontested shots, which allowed them to push their lead to as much as 20 points before finishing the third quarter with a 56-45 lead. The Czech team refused to give up, as the Gamecocks had to thwart several second half runs on defense. As the final buzzer sounded, the Gamecocks finished on top, 75-61, and kicked off their European tour with a win.
Iva Sliskovic posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Gamecocks had three other players join Sliskovic in double figures as Melanie Johnson chipped in 13 points and Stacy Booker and Lea Fabbri each added 10 points.
Herzogenburg BBC, Austria: Wednesday, August 10th
The Gamecock women's basketball team headed to Austria Wednesday night to take on Herzogenburg BBC. Herzogenburg finished as runner-up in the 2005 Austrian National Championship.
For the second consecutive game, the Gamecocks got off to a slow start, trailing by as many as 11 points in the first quarter. It appeared as though the long bus ride earlier in the day from Prague, Czech Republic to Vienna, Austria affected the Gamecocks again, but after an early timeout, Coach Walvius got the team refocused again and they were able to get things back on track again. Even still, Carolina trailed, 21-16 at the end of the first quarter.
The Gamecocks began to execute their offense better in the second quarter and took the lead for the first time midway through the period. For the second game in a row, the Gamecocks were able to use their transition game to set the tone of the game, as the team scored on numerous uncontested fast breaks. After going on another run at the end of the second quarter, the Gamecocks held on to a 39-31 lead at intermission.
The third quarter was controlled by the Gamecocks as they put together a very impressive 10 minute stretch to blow the game wide open. Carolina turned up the intensity on both ends of the court and took advantage of the fatigue of the Herzogenburg players. The Gamecocks did not surrender their first points defensively in the third quarter until 2:30 remained. During that time, the Gamecocks were able to push their lead to almost 30 points, as they finished the third quarter up, 62-35.
The fourth quarter saw the Gamecocks continuing their hard work on both ends of the court. The Gamecocks squandered two runs from Herzogenburg in the final quarter, answering with runs of their own. Once again, offensive execution led to open shot after open shot for the Gamecocks, who left with an 86-55 win.
Leading the Gamecocks against Herzogenburg was Angela Hunter, who put up 27 points, as the opposition seemed to have no answer for Hunter from behind the three-point arc. Melanie Johnson put up a double-double, scoring 18 points and skying for 13 rebounds. Lakesha Tolliver and Iva Sliskovic added 10 points each, while Stacy Booker went to work on the glass, pulling down 8 rebounds.
The Gamecocks head to Budapest, Hungary on Thursday before returning to action on Friday night.
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