Jan. 18, 2003
South Carolina returns home Suday to the Carolina Center to face the Georgia Bulldogs, in a key SEC battle. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. All Boy and Girl Scouts will be admitted for only $2 each.
The 14th-ranked Gamecocks are 14-2 and 2-1 in the conference while unranked Georgia is 11-4 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. This is the first of two meetings this year for the two schools as South Carolina will visit Athens on February 13th. Last season, South Carolina swept the two-game series for the first time in Gamecock basketball history.
USC comes into Sunday’s game on a one-game winning streak after capturing the school’s first win at Vanderbilt in eight attempts Thursday night, 66-57. Jocelyn Penn led all scorers with 27 points and eight rebounds. The senior Naismith nominee paces the Gamecock scoring with an average of 27.3 points per contest while Petra Ujhelyi is South Carolina’s top rebounder with 9.4 boards per contest.
Georgia defeated Mississippi at home Thursday night, 96-54, to remain unbeaten in conference play this season. Five Bulldog players scored in double figures with Kara Braxton leading the way with 18 points. Braxton is the leading Georgia scorer and rebounder at 16.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
South Carolina is in the midst of a murderous opening section of the SEC schedule in which all six of the Gamecocks’ January opponents participated in the NCAA Tournament last year and three of the six currently ranked. USC holds a 3-2 record against Top 25 teams this season after going 7-2 against ranked teams last year.
Senior All America candidate Jocelyn Penn leads the nation, the SEC and the Gamecocks in scoring with an average of 27.3 points per game. Snagging the NCAA scoring lead after dropping 45 points in the second game of the season versus the College of Charleston, the Conyers, Georgia native is the only SEC player to lead the country in scoring at least in the last five seasons, and perhaps longer. LaToya Thomas (MSU) was second at times last season.
Penn captured her second SEC Player of the Week honor in a month on January 6th after she set two new USC records. On January 4, Penn recorded 51 points against Stetson to set a new USC record for points scored. Her 51 points also tied the SEC record for most points in a game. She holds the only two 50-point games in the NCAA since SW Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles accomplished the feat on March 3, 2001. Penn won her first SEC Player of the Week award less than a month ago (December 9th) after scoring 50 points against Wofford.
Penn is closing in on the title as the SEC’s all-time steals leader as the senior trails Niesa Johnson’s (Alabama) career total of 350 thefts by only 36.