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Nov. 18, 2003

The South Carolina women’s basketball team opens the 2003-04 season Friday night with a road game against instate rival, Clemson University. The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. and fans can listen to all the action on WISW Radio (1320 am) with Andy DeMetra providing the play-by-play descriptions.

The Gamecocks will depend on the leadership of seniors Cristina Ciocan, Kelly Morrone and Kasia Roszak to start as the team welcomes seven newcomers to the team. Sophomore Sarah Burgess and Olga Gritsaeva are expected to help replace the scoring and rebounding punch lost by the graduation of WNBA draftees Jocelyn Penn and Petra Ujhelyi.

South Carolina will look to its freshmen class which was ranked as the 10th best group in the country for contributions. South Carolina natives Lauren Simms and Lakesha Tolliver are two of the youngest Gamecocks who have shown potential through preseason workouts.

Last year, the two teams opened up against each other as Gamecocks defeated Clemson, 72-58, in the very first game at the then-called Carolina Center. The game attracted 17,712 fans, the largest basketball crowd in the arena’s history, either women or men’s basketball.

The Gamecocks are coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons and consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.