Feb. 29, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Larissa Kulcsar led Carolina with 12 points and Iva Sliskivic added eight points and eight rebounds but No. 24 Vanderbilt was too much for South Carolina as the Commodores took the regular season finale for both teams, 62-41, on Senior Night in Columbia.
“I am proud of what the seniors have done over the past couple years,” said South Carolina Head Coach Susan Walvius. “We have talent on this team, but we are lacking in confidence. Our goal is to win the SEC Tournament, and if we can play like we are capable, we have the ability to do so.”
The Gamecocks (10-17, 1-13 Southeastern Conference) were down by only one, 24-23, at the half but were outscored 38-18 in the second half. Vanderbilt (20-7, 8-6 SEC) shot .533 while USC only shot .259 from the field in the second half. Turnovers and steals marked the key stat for the game as South Carolina had 25 turnovers to Vandy’s 17 and the Commodores had 16 steals while USC could only manage six.
South Carolina kept the game close in the first half in a low scoring affair as both teams only combined for 47 points. The first half witnessed two ties and two lead changes and the largest lead Vandy could muster was seven points at the 10:20 mark. This was caused by a stingy USC defense that kept Vandy’s shooting percentage at .300 for the half. VU only shot 1-9 from three-point range but shot .833 from the free throw line while South Carolina was 0-7 from downtown and hit .600 from the line.
The Commodores had a five point lead at the 7:18 mark (18-12), but USC took the lead with a 6-0 run over a four minute time span. Two Ashley Early free throws brought the lead back to the Dores but Sliskivic tied the game again with two free throws of her own. Early went 1-for-2 from the line with 16 seconds remaining in the half to give Vandy the one point lead at the half.
The second half was a whole new ballgame as Vandy came out on a 9-0 run to take a 33-23 lead. Vandy kept the lead in double digits the rest of the way out, with their largest lead coming at the end of the game, a 21-point margin.
Vanderbilt shot .417 from the field throughout the game while South Carolina shot .269 for the afternoon. Vandy outscored USC in the paint 40-20 and topped USC in second chance points, 22-17.
The Gamecocks honored seniors Cristina Ciocan, Kelly Morrone, and Kasia Roszak on Senior Day at the Colonial Center. Ciocan tallied six points as she surpassed the 1,000 career point plateau while Morrone also added six points. Rozsak was unable to play due to a mid-foot sprain, suffered in December.
South Carolina now heads to the SEC Basketball Tournament on March 4-7 in Nashville, Tenn. USC is 2-12 all-time at the SEC Basketball Tournament. Pairings, dates, and times for the tournament will be announced this week.