Jan. 28, 2004
The South Carolina Gamecocks ended their eight-game losing streak Wednesday night as USC defeated the College of Charleston, 84-61. With the victory, South Carolina improves to 9-9 on the season while C of C dropped to 5-14.
Shooting 56.1% from the field as a team, USC had four players record double-digit point performances on the night with Olga Gritsaeva leading the way with 19 points. Kelly Morrone scored 16 points including 4-for-6 from behind the three-point line. Iva Sliskovic and Lauren Simms each added 13 points for the Gamecocks.
Senior Cristina Ciocan became the school’s all-time leader in assists in the first half with her 596th dish as a Gamecock.
College of Charleston guard Rachel King led all scorers with 20 points while Patrice Bryant scored 18 points for the Cougars.
Charleston found itself down by 12 (16-4) with 14:58 to go in the first half before clawing back to within three points off three three-pointers from King. With the Cougars down 20-17 with 10:17 left in the half, South Carolina went on a 12-0 run in the next three-and-a-half minutes to take the 32-17 lead. The teams went into the locker room at halftime came with USC up, 46-29. The Gamecocks shot 56.3 percent for the half, while the Cougars, who held the 18-16 rebound edge, shot 34.5 percent.
The Gamecocks stretched the lead in the first five minutes of the second half and led 56-35 on Kelly Morrone’s three-pointer. The Cougars got as close as 16 at 63-47 on two Bryant free throws with 11:11 to play. Charleston also was down 16 at 70-54 on a three-pointer by Marketta Talley but South Carolina responded with a Morrone jumper to push the lead back to 18.
South Carolina kept their stellar first half shooting up in the second half connecting on 56 percent in the final 20 minutes. Charleston shot 35.7 percent in the second half and 35.1 percent for the game. The Gamecocks won the rebounding battle 34-33 for the game after being out rebounded in the first half.
Wednesday night’s game featured CofC head coach Nancy Wilson going against a South Carolina team that she coached from 1984-97 and led to five Conference championships and five trips to the NCAA Tournament.