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Dec. 29, 2005

Box Score | Quotes | Notes

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s basketball team defeated Western Carolina, 95-53, Thursday night to record a season point high and extend its win streak to six games. Junior Ilona Burgrova led the Gamecocks with 17 points, a career high, and tied her career high nine rebounds. USC’s defense was at its strongest as the Gamecocks also tied the school record of 13 blocks.

Western Carolina had a short-lived lead as the Catamounts jumped ahead 5-0 to start the game but a three-pointer by Lea Fabbri snapped the run to start the Gamecocks’ charge. USC eventually took the lead on a short jumper by Lauren Simms and never looked back. South Carolina journeyed on a 12-0 run to post a 19-7 lead before the Catamounts recorded their next basket.

The Gamecocks dominated the first half as they hit 21-of-35, marking the third time this season USC has shot 60-percent or better in the first half. The garnet and black starters outscored the Catamounts, 34-18, as Simms led the way with a season-high 13 points in the first half alone. As the Gamecocks recorded a 24-point halftime lead, USC also received solid play from Iva Sliskovic who went a perfect 4-for-4 with five rebounds in the first half.

The Gamecocks outscored Western Carolina, 46-28, in the second half and held the Catamounts to their second-lowest point total of the season with 53. Juniors Melanie Johnson and Stacy Booker chipped in 15 and 11 points, respectively, to round out USC’s double-figure club.

Offensively, USC totaled 30 assists for a season high and tied the season high in three-pointers made with five.

The Gamecocks’ 95 points is the most by a Carolina team since the 2003-04 season when USC defeated Florida A&M, 96-66, in Columbia. This also marks the third straight game USC has recorded at least 80 points.

The South Carolina women return to action Monday, Jan. 2, when they travel to Clemson for a 7 p.m. tip.