Dec. 20, 2003
By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Freshman Ivory Latta scored 16 points in her return home to South Carolina to lead 15th-ranked North Carolina to a 77-53 victory over the Gamecocks on Saturday. South Carolina, averaging 86.2 points per contest, scored only 53 on the night with only two players scoring in double figures. Freshman Iva Sliskovic contributed 16 while Cristina Ciocan registered 13. Kelly Morrone and Larissa Kulcsar came in with nine points apiece.
Latta had a personal 7-0 run in the first half to give the Tar Heels (9-1) a 19-7 lead. Then after South Carolina cut the margin to 32-27, Latta hit a 3-pointer to open the second half and get her team back on track.
South Carolina came into Saturday’s game with an eight-game win streak, but never held a lead in the contest.
The Gamecocks missed 12 of their first 13 shots of the game and opened the second half almost as cold going 1-of-6 in a stretch where North Carolina took control for good.
Following Latta’s long-range basket, Candace Sutton and Nikita Bell had field goals. Leah Metcalf, off a pass from Latta, hit a wide-open three to extend the North Carolina lead to 42-29. That’s as close as South Carolina would get the rest of the way.
The Gamecocks finished 7-of-31 on 3-pointers. They were even worse on foul shots, going 2-for12.
Iva Sliskovic had 16 points to lead South Carolina, which was held 33 points below its season’s scoring average.
North Carolina threatened to run away with this one at several points of the first half, starting out with a 12-2 lead.
When the Gamecocks got within 12-7, Latta pushed her team ahead. She hit a 3-pointer, then followed with a driving layup between two South Carolina defenders and a breakaway basket after stealing the ball from South Carolina. Litte hit a 3-pointer with 7:47 to put North Carolina ahead 24-9, its biggest lead of the half.