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Feb. 13, 2004

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After capturing the first SEC win of the season Thursday night against Alabama, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks look to extend the winning streak Sunday on the road against Auburn. Game time is 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

South Carolina enters the game with a 10-12 mark and is 1-8 in the conference. The Tigers are 19-5 overall and 7-3 in the SEC. Auburn is 14th in the lastest AP Poll and 18th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Auburn sits is third place in the SEC while the Gamecocks are tied with Kentucky at the 11th spot.

South Carolina earned a bit of revenge against Alabama Thursday for an earlier January loss as the Gamecocks defeated the Crimson Tide, 77-51, for the first SEC victory of the season. Five Gamecocks scored in double figures as freshman Iva Sliskovic led the way with her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

South Carolina’s scoring attack is led by its starting lineup with three of the five players contributing double figures. Cristina Ciocan leads the way with 13.0 points per contest while Morrone is second at 12.4. Iva Sliskovic is third with a per-game-points average of 11.5 and the freshman also leads the team on the backboards with 7.1 boards per game. The other two USC starters are within tenths-of-a-point of the double-figure window as Olga Gritsaeva is contributing 9.9 points per contest with Lauren Simms fifth on the team in scoring at 9.8. After becoming South Carolina’s career assists leader on January 28th, Cristina Ciocan is now 12th in the all-time SEC records with 607 distributions. She only needs 32 more points to reach the 1,000-point plateau while Kelly Morrone is 76 points shy of the 1,000 mark.

The Auburn Tigers are just one win away from the school’s 18th 20-win season under head coach Joe Ciampi. On Thursday, the #14/18 Tigers defeated Mississippi in Oxford, 82-70, for win number 19. Auburn is led by senior forward Le’Coe Willingham’s 16 points per contest and junior guard Natasha Brackett who contributes 11.8 a game. Willingham leads the team on the boards with an average of 9.6 rebounds a game.

When looking at the AU roster, Coach Ciampi managed to snag two players from the Carolina’s away from USC. Senior Nancy Derrick is a native of Johnston, South Carolina while Junior Natasha Brackett graduated from Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Auburn leads South Carolina in the all-time series by a 14-9 mark. The Gamecocks are 3-8 in contests played in Auburn but have won six of 11 games in Columbia. Last season, USC defeated the Tigers, 65-64, in the Colonial Center. South Carolina has not won in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum since the January 5, 1994, game where the Gamecocks captured a 64-55 decision.