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Dec. 15, 2002

After a 12-day break for exams, the 18/19th ranked University of South Carolina Gamecocks return to the court Monday night to face the Middle Tennessee Raiders. Tipoff time is set for 5:30 p.m.

The Gamecocks last played on Wednesday, December 4th when they defeated Wofford, 99-46. On a 6-0 streak since opening the season on November 22nd with a victory over Clemson, USC already holds the best season opening record, under Head Coach Susan Walvius, and will work towards the South Carolina record of 10 wins from the 1981-82 season.

South Carolina is led by senior Jocelyn Penn who earned SEC Player of the Week honors on Monday, December 9th after tying the USC scoring record of 50 points against Wofford (12/4). Penn averages 30.7 points per game to lead the country and the SEC in scoring. She has four double-doubles already in six contests and is also averaging 9.5 boards and 4.8 steals per game.

The Naismith Candidate is now 13th on the USC all-time scoring list with 1,407 points and only needs 22 steals to break the all-time thefts mark at USC (298). She is already one of only six Gamecocks ever to score 1,000+ points, grab 500+ boards and make 200+ steals and could soon be one of only four USC women to ever score 1,500+ points, grab 500+ boards and make 200+ steals.

Junior Cristina Ciocan leads the team in assists (7.2 per game) and is second in scoring (12.5 ppg). Senior Petra Ujhelyi leads the team in rebounding with an average of 12.3 boards per game and paces the SEC in rebounding. The last Gamecock to average double-figure rebounds for an entire season was Marsha Williams from the 1992-93 season (10.7) and only Sheila Foster ever pulled down 12.3 or more rebounds per game during a season (12.7 rpg in 1980-81).

Middle Tennessee enter the game with a 3-3 mark after a Saturday night victory over South Carolina State, 70-57. Sophomore Patrice Holmes, who hails from Bishopville, South Carolina, leads the team by averaging 17.2 points and six rebounds per game.