Jan. 19, 2003
No. 14 South Carolina dropped to 14-3 overall and 2-2 in the SEC with their 67-59 loss to Georgia (12-4, 3-0) Sunday at the Carolina Center. The loss was the first home loss since January 17, 2002 against Tennessee.
In the first half, the Gamecocks struggled from the floor by hitting only 29% and turning the ball over 14 times. USC took the early lead 4-2 but Georgia would answer back by using their size advantage to get second chance opportunities and take the lead 16-8. The Gamecocks would come back with a 11-3 run but the Bulldogs answered with a 13-0 run over the last 4:20 to take a 32-19 lead into halftime.
The Gamecocks were down but not out. The Gamecocks opened the second half with a 11-2 run to cut the lead to four with 14:06 left. South Carolina was unable to get any closer until Cristina Ciocan hit a three with 8:43 left to cut the Bulldog lead to one. The relentless Gamecocks would eventually take the lead 48-47 with 6:07 remaining. The lead was the first since South Carolina was up 4-2 in the early minutes. Over the next minute and half, the 4,823 fans saw six lead changes between the two teams. Georgia would finally keep the lead when Christi Thomas hit a shot to put the Bulldogs up 53-52 with 4:39 left. South Carolina would get no closer than four points in the final minute as the Bulldogs went onto a 67-59 victory.
“We knew Georgia would be tough,” said USC Head Coach Susan Walvius. “They were playing their best coming in. I’m not pleased with our performance and we have to hold on to the ball better. It came down to the final three minutes of each half.”
South Carolina was led by Jocelyn Penn who had 23. Cristina Ciocan and Petra Ujhelyi added 10. Kelly Morrone chipped in seven while Koretha Johnson had four. Sarah Burgess tallied three while Kasia Roszak added two.
The Gamecocks head back on the road to play No. 5 Tennessee on January 23 at 7pm.