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Nov. 26, 2003

Box Score?|? Quotes?|? Notes

Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team cruised past the Mercer Bears 99-78 on Wednesday night at the Colonial Center. USC was paced by senior guard Kelly Morrone who led all scorers with a career-high 31 points. Morrone connected on seven of 14 three pointers, and hit eight of nine free throws.

The Bears, 1-1, held an early lead and even kept the game close until the Gamecocks, 2-1, went on an 18-6 run in the final five and a half minutes of the first half to take a 50-33 lead into the locker room. The Gamecocks ended the first half on a big run, and began the second half about the same way as they hit their first seven shots and cruised to a 99-78 victory.

It was a big game for Kelly Morrone, but three other Gamecocks scored in double digits. Cristina Ciocan came within three rebounds of achieving a never-achieved-before at South Carolina triple-double performance in back-to-back games with 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Iva Sliskovia recorded her first ever double-double as she scored 16 points and brought down 11 boards. Olga Gritsaeva was the fourth USC player in double figures as she posted 10 points.

USC played 10 Gamecocks and all 10 scored at least one point. Lauren Simms scored seven while Sarah Burgess and Larissa Kulcsar both tallied six. Shannel Harris and Stacy Booker scored two and Lea Fabbri added one.

“Kelly Morrone gave us some leadership tonight, and Cristina Ciocan is coming off her ankle injury and they both had great nights tonight,” said USC Head Coach Susan Walvius. “We are trying to learn in these games and come together on defense and offense so we can be better prepared for our conference games.”

The Gamecocks return to action on Saturday, November 29th at 6:00 p.m. to host Florida A&M.