Jan. 27, 2004
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks travel to meet the College of Charleston Wednesday night and face new Cougar head coach Nancy Wilson, the most successful coach in USC history. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. with all the action covered on WISW Radio (1230 am) as Andy Demetra and Robin Muller will provide the play-by-play and color commentary.
Under her 13-year tenure from 1984-1997, Wilson guided South Carolina to 231 wins against 149 losses, five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, five Metro Conference regular season titles, three Metro Conference Tournament titles and coached many of the best athletes ever to wear the USC garnet and black.
After winning eight of nine games to start the season, South Carolina (8-9, 0-5) has fallen into a eight-game slide over the last month and will try to reverse its fortunes on the road tonight against the Cougars.
USC lost to Kentucky Sunday, 75-61, after the Wildcats scored 46 second-half points to overturn a nine-point halftime deficit and gain their first SEC win of the season. The Gamecocks were led by three players in double figures; Lauren Simms’ 18 points, Olga Gritsaeva’s 15 points and Kelly Morrone’s 14 points.
Senior Cristina Ciocan enters the game only three assists away from becoming South Carolina’s career leader in assists with 596. The current record holder is Mindy Ballou (1983-1986) who passed 595 assists during her career. If she passes the mark Wednesday, Ciocan will have accomplished the feat in 106 contests as opposed to the 115 games played for Ballou.
The College of Charleston brings a 5-13 record into the game after losing Monday to Georgia Southern, 61-56. The C of C roster features three players from Columbia; Shanna Mickens, Erica Nesmith and Erica Irick. Mickens and Nesmith both attended Columbia High School and were teammates of Angela Hunter who transferred to USC last summer. Irick graduated from Keenan High School but went to Delaware State before transferring back to the Palmetto State. As transfer players, she and Hunter are not eligible to play this season.
The Cougars and Gamecocks both defeated a common opponent, Appalachian State, early in the season. Patrice Bryant leads the Cougar scoring with an average of 13.9 points per game. The junior guard from Atlanta also paces the efforts on the backboards with 5.2 rebounds per game.