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Feb. 15, 2003

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The South Carolina Gamecocks return Sunday for the first of three home games in the Carolina Center. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Sunday’s opponent, the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks, handed USC a January loss on their home court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but the Gamecocks look for revenge today at home where USC has won 11 of 13 games this season.

USC enters the contest with a 17-6 mark and a 5-5 record in the SEC. The Gamecocks currently are in fifth place in the Southeastern Conference. On Thursday night, the No. 15 Gamecocks lost to 14th-ranked Georgia in a heart-breaking, double-overtime contest in Athens, 97-91. It was only South Carolina’s third double-overtime in school history.

Up by as many as 19 in the first half, South Carolina couldn’t contain Georgia’s second half rally and lost its lead. With only four-tenths of a second left on the clock in regulation, Petra Ujhelyi hit a long three-pointer to force the game into overtime. Near the end of the first overtime period, Cristina Ciocan drove through the lane and connected on a short running jumper with only :02 on the clock to force another extra five-minute overtime period. In the second overtime, the Bulldogs outscored USC, 15-9, to close out the game.

Four of five Gamecock starters scored in double figures with Cristina Ciocan leading the way with 21 points and 10 assists, her fifth double-figure assist game of the season. Ujhelyi contributed her ninth double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 boards. Jocelyn Penn scored 16 points while Koretha Johnson added 11 more.

Jocelyn Penn continues to lead the Gamecock scoring with an average of 24.4 points per game. The senior is second in the SEC behind MSU’s LaToya Thomas (24.8 ppg). Gamecock junior Cristina Ciocan is second on the team in scoring at 12.3 points per contest and is second in the SEC with 6.8 assists per game. Ciocan has now recorded five double-figure assist games this season (for a total of nine in her career) and three double-doubles this season. Senior Petra Ujhelyi paces the SEC and team’s rebounding efforts with 9.4 boards per contest and is third in scoring (11.3 ppg). With her ninth double-double of the season at Georgia (18 points and 12 boards), Ujhelyi is first in the SEC with nine double-doubles while Penn and Vanderbilt’s Jenni Benningfield are tied for second with eight.

No. 13 Arkansas defeated Kentucky, 70-60, Thursday night in Lexington, Kentucky, to record its sixth SEC win of the season. Senior Dana Cherry scored a team-high 15 points in the victory. Shameka Christon paces the team’s scoring with an average of 15.1 points per game with India Lewis close behind with an average of 14.2. Christon also leads the team on the backboards with 5.8 boards per game.