Jan. 30, 2003
Columbia – The 16th-ranked University of South Carolina (15-4, 3-3 SEC) scored five straight baskets to open the game on their way to handily defeat the University of Florida (8-11, 0-6 SEC) 78-64 in the Carolina Center. History was on the side of the Gators Thursday night, as Florida had won every game played in Columbia since Jan. 21, 1981, and had only lost one game all-time to the Gamecocks in Columbia. The Gamecocks, however, would not let the history rule them. In the first half, USC hit 33.3% of shots from behind the arch while forcing the all-freshman starting lineup of Florida into 11 turnovers.
The first half scoring was spurred on by senior Jocelyn Penn, who had 12 points in the period on five-for-eleven shooting. Freshman Sarah Burgess came off the bench and helped out with eight points in the opening frame. The Gamecocks went into the half with a 38-26 edge over the Gators.
Head Coach Susan Walvius said, “I was really pleased the way we came out of the gate tonight. It was really important for us to get into the flow quickly. We were aggressive at the start of the basketball game and I don’t think we could have played better offense in the first five minutes.”
South Carolina domination continued in the second half, shooting 47.1% from the field and grabbing 20 offensive boards. Cristina Ciocan had 16 second-half points to end the game with 18. She was also responsible for eight assists and four rebounds.
USC has now won 12 of their 15 games by double figures. They are 11-1 at home, their sole loss coming at the hands of Southeastern Conference rival Georgia. Penn, the nation’s second leading scoring, ended the game with 19 points and 15 rebounds; her seventh double-double of the season and the 16th of her career. The 15 rebounds tied her previous career high. Petra Ujhelyi, after scoring just four points in the first half, also ended the game with a double-double: 15 points and 11 rebounds. “You saw moments of brilliance tonight from Petra. She really stepped up big. She can pass and shoot and she showed that tonight. You are going to see a lot more of her abilities as the year goes on. She is playing good basketball,” said Coach Walvius.