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Oct. 13, 2006

Beginning with a 3-1 win for the Gamecock volleyball team over Ole Miss, HARDWOOD HOOPLA 2006 was a rousing success as Carolina tipped-off this year’s basketball season. While both teams will begin their official practices Saturday morning, with the men practicing at 8 am, the Gamecock men and women combined to field co-ed teams in the Friday night scrimmage with the Garnet team winning 84-75.

Freshman redshirt Dominique Archie led all scorers with 12 points, including five slam dunks on perfect passes from Stacy Booker. Kellindra Zackery scored the first points of the season for the women, while Tre’ Kelley hit a three for the men’s first points of the year. Melanie Johnson and Demetress Adams, who both scored four points, led the women.

“Stacy is a very good passer,” said Archie with a grin. “It felt to go out and play with my teammates and the women.”

“This was very exciting to get out and play in front of a crowd,” said Zackery. “I was hyped up and had to show them a little bit.”

“This was amazing,” added Lea Fabbri. “We have such great fans who support us. We love to give them a show. We are grateful to them and are excited for the new season.”

USC quarterback Syvelle Newton, equestrian rider Ellen Hogate and baseball’s Dan Luczak and Andrew Crisp advanced to the Final Four of the First Annual Celebrity Free Throw competition. Luczak, an 85% free throw shooter in high school, defeated Newton, an All-State basketball player, 10-8 in the finals.

“We should have had a three-point contest – I am too strong right now to shoot free throws,” said a smiling Newton.

The two teams signed autographs for the fans, held free throw contests and entertained the crowd of more than 800 with slam dunks and way-out-threes during the warm-up.

“Tonight was pretty good,” said Kelley. “We gave the fans a chance to see both teams at once and we also got to have fun playing all together. (Looking forward to practice tomorrow morning?): Yes! I always look forward to the first practice because you never know what to expect.”