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Dec. 14, 2003

Cristina Ciocan’s career-high 33 points led South Carolina to a 84-67 road victory at Charlotte Sunday, 84-67. The win marked USC’s seventh consecutive win of the season and the last of their four games on the road. South Carolina snapped Charlotte’s 20-game winning streak at the Halton Arena. South Carolina returns to the Colonial Center on Thursday night with a home contest against Louisiana-Lafayette.

After struggling to take a three-point lead into the locker room at halftime, South Carolina came out in the second half to build a 10-point advantage behind eight points from Cristina Ciocan. The Gamecocks continued to increase their lead with freshman Iva Sliskovic grabbing 10 rebounds, Ciocan contributing 14 points and Kelly Morrone chipping in nine points in the second half.

The Gamecocks went up by 22 points before the 49ers cut the margin to 13 points with 5:38 remaining in the game but USC ended the game on a 10-6 for the 84-67 final.

“Our defense improved in the second half and we got into a comfortable tempo, an up-tempo,” said USC head coach Susan Walvius. “At haltime, we talked about attacking the rim and pressing more. Our defensive pressure was the difference in the second half. We did a good job defensively and found the open shots in the second half. I was pleased with Cristina Ciocan’s play today.

“We had great respect for Charlotte entering this game. They are a great team and have had success here at home.”

South Carolina had four players score in double figures with Ciocan’s 33 points leading the way. Sliskovic scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds with Olga Gritsaeva and Kelly Morrone also contributing 11 points.

USC returns home Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. contest against Louisiana-Lafayette.