Feb. 28, 2004
The South Carolina Gamecocks and the Vanderbilt Commodores meet Sunday in the Colonial Center for the 2003-04 regular season finale. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. All children who come to the game with an adult will be admitted for free.
Before the game, USC (10-16, 1-12) will honor the three seniors who have helped the Gamecocks over the past five years; Cristina Ciocan, Kelly Morrone and Kasia Roszak.
South Carolina’s scoring attack is led by its starting lineup with three of the five players contributing double figures. Kelly Morrone leads the way with 12.3 points per contest while Cristina Ciocan is second at 12.1. Iva Sliskovic is third with a per-game-points average of 11.0 and the freshman also leads the team on the backboards with 7.0 boards per game. The other two USC starters are within tenths-of-a-point of the double-figure window as Lauren Simms is fourth at 9.7 points per game while Olga Gritsaeva is contributing 9.2 and 5.9 rebounds a contest. After becoming South Carolina’s career assists leader on January 28th, Cristina Ciocan is now 12th in the all-time SEC records with 613 distributions. She only needs one more point to reach the 1,000-point plateau while Kelly Morrone is 30 points shy of the 1,000 mark.
The Vanderbilt scoring is led by four players in double figures. Abi Ramsey’s 14.1 points and Jenni Benningfield’s 13.0 per game averages led the way with Ashley Earley third at 11.8. Hillary Hager rounds out the top four with 11.7 points a contest. Earley leads the team’s efforts on the boards with 7.2 rebounds a contest. Freshman Carla Thomas was named as the SEC Player of the Week last Monday for her efforts against LSU and Auburn. The forward from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, has scored in double figures in her 10 of 12 SEC contests and has totalled as least 16 points in each of her last seven games.
With Thursday night’s loss at Kentucky, South Carolina will finish the 2003-04 season in 12th in the conference and will play the SEC’s fifth-seeded team Thursday night in the opening round of the SEC Tournament. Vanderbilt (19-7, 7-6) is in the midst of a logjam in the middle of the conference and the Commodores need a win today for a possible fourth or fifth place finish.