Nov. 29, 2006
Raleigh, N.C. – The South Carolina women’s basketball team was able to claw back from a 12 point deficit but couldn’t make its free throws in the final minutes as North Carolina State was able to push back to a 53-41 win Wednesday night at Reynolds Coliseum. With the loss, the Gamecocks fell to 4-3 on the season. The Wolfpack improved to 5-2.
North Carolina State showed early that its gameplan was to go inside on the Gamecocks as their leading scorer Khadijah Whittington received the first few looks in the paint. However the stifling defense of Iva Sliskovic and Demetress Adams kept the Wolfpack post players ineffective after USC took its first lead 5-3 on a Sliskovic jumper.
Neither team could find a shooting touch in the first half. South Carolina went the first 3:18 of the game without a field goal and shot 7-for-34 in the half (20.6%). North Carolina State fared no better at 6-for-26 (23.1%) in the first half as the team’s deadlocked 18-18 at the break.
Sliskovic single-handedly kept USC within reach in the second half as she scored Carolina’s first nine points of the half. Her ninth point trimmed NC State’s lead to 28-27 with over 13 minutes to play, but the Wolfpack was able to begin to pull away when no other Gamecock scored until Ilona Burgrova’s open look with 10:52 remaining cut the lead to 34-29.
North Carolina State was able to take its first double-digit lead of the game (39-29) after making a free throw when Lea Fabbri fouled out of the game. They extended the lead to as many as 12 points before the Carolina defense helped the Gamecocks to push the lead down to five at 46-41 with only 51 seconds remaining in the game. Despite leading the Southeastern Conference in free throw percentage, Lauren Simms only connected on 1-of-4 free throws in the final minute and the Wolfpack was able to run away with the game.
Sliskovic led all scorers with 17 points. She also moved closer to making it into the top five on South Carolina’s career blocked shots list when she recorded her 98th block with 7:16 remaining in the game. She is now one block behind Teresa Geter, who claims sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list with 99 rejections. Her four defensive rebounds also put her total at 405, moving her within one defensive board from claiming fifth place on the all-time Carolina list behind Shaunzinski Gortman.
Melanie Johnson notched her first double-digit rebounding game of the season with a team-high 10 boards. Adams contributed nine points and eight rebounds for the Gamecocks.
Carolina next returns to action when they host Fordham on Sunday, December 3 at the Colonial Center. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.