Dec. 2, 2003
Head Coach Susan Walvius won’t look back on her 100th win at the helm of the South Carolina women’s program as one of the team’s best performances of the season. Instead, she chalked up the 94-66 USC victory over Stetson as another building block in the maturation of her young Gamecock team.
After taking a five-point lead into the locker room at halftime, the Gamecocks (4-1) outscored the Hatters 11-2 in the first five minutes of the second half to establish the separation that would propel USC to leads as large as 26 points. South Carolina relied on the second-point production of sophomore Olga Gritsaeva (16 points), freshman Iva Sliskovic (12 points) and senior Kelly Morrone (11 points) to outscore the 1-2 Hatters, 55-32, in the second period. South Carolina shot a season-high 62.5% from the field
South Carolina relied on balanced scoring from the starting five as four Gamecocks scored in double figures with two recording double-doubles. Gritsaeva led all scorers with her career high 29 points and also pulled in 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Sliskovic connected on a career-best 20 points while Kelly Morrone chipped in 14 points. Senior Cristina Ciocan recorded her fourth double-figure assist game of the season with 10 dishes and 13 points.
In the first half, USC and Stetson battled through seven ties until Iva Sliskovic’s two baskets in the final five minutes put South Carolina in the lead for good.
“We talk as a team about the importance of the first five minutes of the game and of the second half,” said Head Coach Walvius. “These are two of the most critical times to establish momentum. I thought that after starting out slowly tonight we did a good job of coming out strong in the second half.
“Cristina Ciocan had another double-figure assist game tonight and she did a really good job of getting our team going tonight in the transition game. Iva Sliskovic had 20 points and six boards and turned in a solid performance for a freshman.
“I thought that Stetson came out and played a great game tonight. They were extremely aggressive and are much improved over last year.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know that tonight’s game gave me 100 wins at South Carolina. I never really pay attention to those types of things. As a coach, you’ll win a lot of games when you have good basketball players.”
South Carolina takes its four-game winning streak on the road again this weekend as the Gamecocks travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Southwest Airlines Lobo Shootout. USC faces Southern Utah on Friday, December 5th and then meets either Tennessee State or New Mexico on Saturday.
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