Feb 8, 2004
By ELIZABETH A. DAVIS
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Shyra Ely had 12 points and 12 rebounds to help top-ranked Tennessee beat South Carolina 72-58 on Sunday.
The Lady Vols grabbed the lead in the first two minutes of the game and went up by as many as 11 in the first half. USC cut the deficit to only eight, 38-30, right before the halftime buzzer. In the second half, South Carolina went on a 12-2 run at the start of the second half to tie the game at 42 with 16:50 remaining.
Tennessee kept South Carolina scoreless for five minutes while scoring 16 straight points to go ahead 58-42. LaToya Davis had back-to-back steals during the run, scoring a layup after one and dishing off to Brittany Jackson for another basket.
The Gamecocks wouldn’t go away and cut it to nine with 4:27 remaining. Ely converted a three-point play to put Tennessee up 63-51, and the Lady Vols finished strong.
Lauren Simms and Cristina Ciocan scored 13 points apiece and Iva Sliskovic added 10 points for South Carolina, which was a dismal 3-of-15 from the foul line.
“The game came down some great rebounding on their part, said USC head coach Susan Walvius. “We shot a better percentage from the floor, had more steals and fewer turnovers but they had 25 offensive rebounds. Any time you give a team that many second shots, and they connected on most of them, things aren’t going to go your way. We didn’t get the rebounds and didn’t hit our free throws and that was the difference.”