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Feb. 7, 2003

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After a disappointing home loss to #4 LSU Thursday night, the 16/15th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks face the difficult task of looking for a win Sunday while competing on the road at Alabama. Game time is 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) with all the action carried on WISW Radio (1320 am).

The Gamecocks have won the last two contests against Alabama including USC’s first-ever win in Coleman Coliseum coming in 2001.

On Thursday night, South Carolina fell to LSU Thursday, 69-66, at home in the Carolina Center for only the team’s second loss in the new basketball facility. The Gamecocks fought back from an 13-point first half deficit for the opportunity to send the game into overtime in the final 30 seconds of the game but couldn’t get the three-point shot off. Petra Ujhelyi set a new career high with 24 points and led all rebounders with nine boards. Cristina Ciocan connected on her second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Naismith Candidate Jocelyn Penn added 15 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Penn is fourth in the country with an average of 25.0 points per game and leads the SEC and the Gamecocks in scoring. Junior Cristina Ciocan is second on the team in scoring at 12.1 points per contest and is second in the SEC with 6.8 assists per game. Ciocan has now recorded four double-figure assist games this season and eight total in her career. Senior Petra Ujhelyi paces the SEC and team’s rebounding efforts with 9.0 boards per contest and is third in scoring (11.6 ppg). Ujhelyi is tied for the conference lead with her eight double-double performances this season.

Penn is in fifth place on the all-time Gamecock scoring list with 1,749 points with 43 points separating her from moving into the fourth spot (Schonna Banner – 1,791 points). She has already broken two school records (single-game scoring and career steals) and is on her way to a third USC record; points scored in a season. The Naismith candidate holds the NCAA’s top three scoring performances this season with a 51-point game against Stetson, a 50-point outing against Wofford and a 45-point day against the College of Charleston.

Alabama enters today’s game battling a three-game losing skid after Thursday night’s loss at Vanderbilt. All three losses came against Top 20 SEC teams (at #13 MSU, #12 Arkansas and at #18 Vandy) and the Crimson Tide face their fourth straight ranked opponent today in the Gamecocks. Alabama leads the conference in three-pointers made (7.19 per game) with over 30% of their field goals made coming from behind the arc. The Tide have outshot 15 of 20 opponents from three-point land this season but among the conference teams, are fourth in 3FG% and only 10th in FG %. UA has two players averaging in double figures’ Beth Vice at 12.6 ppg and Jamilah Johns at 11.4. Johns, who played her first two collegiate seasons at LSU, leads the team in rebounding at 8.5 boards per game.

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