Dec. 1, 2003
Riding a three-game winning streak, the South Carolina Gamecocks venture to DeLand, Florida, Thursday night to face the Stetson Hatters. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. Fans can follow the action on WISW Radio (1320 am) with Andy DeMetra calling the play-by-play.
USC captured all three home games last week to help erase the memory of the opening night loss at Clemson. Stetson took the Thanksgiving week off after splitting its first two games with a loss at Auburn on November 21st and a Tuesday, November 25th home victory over Bethune-Cookman.
This will be USC’s second opponent this season from the Atlantic Sun Conference. On Wednesday night, South Carolina defeated Atlantic Sun member, Mercer, 99-78, in the Colonial Center. The two teams have only met three times with only last year’s January 4th battle the only contest since 1983. USC holds a 3-0 edge over the Hatters and is 1-0 in DeLand.
The Gamecocks have five players averaging in double figures with seniors Kelly Morrone and Cristina Ciocan leading the way with 22.3 and 16.7 points per game, respectively. Freshman Iva Sliskovic is third on the team in scoring at 14.3 with sophomore Olga Gritsaeva and freshman Lauren Simms rounding out the top five with 12.3 and 11.0 points per contest apiece. Gritsaeva paces the rebounding efforts for USC with 10 boards per contest.
Stetson is led by a trio of juniors as forward Kristy Brown paces the team with 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Renee Barnes is contributing 8.5 points per contest while Michelle Garcia third in scoring at 8.0.
Brown was named to the Atlantic Sun Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team by the league coaches in early November. She was selected for the A-Sun Second-Team last year after scoring 15.0 points per game, fourth in the league. After finishing fifth in the conference last season, the Hatters were picked ninth by the coaches and 10th by the media in the November 4th preseason poll.
The Hatters are coached by Dee Romine who is in her 11th year at helm. Former University of Tennessee star Bridgette Gordon begins herthird season as an assistant coach at Stetson. Gordon helped lead Tennessee to four consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances and two NCAA National Championships in 1987 and 1989.