Jan. 15, 2004
Columbia, S.C. – The fifth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols defeated South Carolina Thursday night at the Colonial Center, 86-58. With the win, Tennessee improved to 13-1 overall and to 2-0 in the SEC while the Gamecocks dropped to 8-6 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The win was also Tennessee’s 23rd straight SEC regular season victory.
The Lady Vols took an early 9-0 lead before the Gamecocks would finally score on a Lauren Simms jumper at the 17:49 mark. Simms led the Gamecocks with 22 points, which is also a new career high for the Columbia native. The shot ignited a 17-10 run for Carolina, that was capped by a pair of Sarah Burgess free throws, tying the game at 19-19 with 10:26 remaining in the first half. Tennessee then answered back with a 30-6 run, that was led by nine points from Shyra Ely. A Simms three pointer at the buzzer cut the Vol’s lead to 49-28 at the break.
In the first half, USC shot 44% from the field but had 16 turnovers, which turned into 22 Lady Vol points. In the second half, USC cut down on the turnovers but could not get any closer as the Lady Vols went on to the in front of 8,118, the second largest crowd ever at the Colonial Center for a women’s basketball game.
Simms was the only player for USC in double figures, as she coupled her 22 points with a team season-high eight steals. Cristina Ciocan tallied eight points and had a career-high 11 rebounds while Sarah Burgess finished with eight points. Iva Sliskovic netted seven points, while Olga Gritsaeva chipped in five. Kelly Morrone and Larissa Kulcsar scored three apiece.
The Gamecocks return to action on Sunday, January 18th at 2 p.m., when they host Arkansas at the Colonial Center.