Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Nov. 13, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina senior forward Melanie Johnson (Barnwell, S.C./Barnwell) is this week’s Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.

Johnson led South Carolina to a 78-53 victory over East Tennessee State in the Gamecocks’ season opener on Nov. 12, scoring a game-high 23 points, 19 of which came in the second half. Johnson was the difference in the game, going on a 13-0 run by herself at a key moment of the second half to take a 62-51 Gamecock lead and blow it open to a 75-51 advantage in a span of only two minutes and 15 seconds to put the game out of reach. Johnson added six rebounds and five steals in the contest.

“This is a big honor, especially when you consider all of the great players who are in this league,” Johnson said. “I heard that Candace Parker at Tennessee opened the season with a dunk in the first game, so for them to pick me over something like that is nice. This was actually one of my personal goals for this year, because I knew that a lot of the great players get this award, so it feels good to be included with that kind of company.”

The honor marked the first time in her career that Johnson was honored as the SEC Player of the Week. A preseason second-team all-SEC honoree, Johnson is the first Gamecock to win the award since Demetress Adams was recognized on Dec. 26, 2005. In receiving the award, Johnson becomes the ninth Gamecock ever to be recognized as the SEC Player of the Week, joining Shannon Johnson, Annie Lester, Teresa Geter, Shaunzinski Gortman, Kelly Morrone, Cristina Ciocan, Jocelyn Penn and Adams.

Johnson’s 23 points against East Tennessee State ranked as the second-highest scoring total of her career and marked her second consecutive 20-plus point game, as she scored 21 points against Xavier in the final game of last season.

Johnson and the Gamecocks travel to Penn State for a key non-conference clash played at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Bryce Jordan Center.