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Dec. 7, 2006

Box Score | Quotes | Notes

The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team dropped a 78-51 decision to No. 3 Oklahoma Thursday night at the Colonial Center. With the loss, South Carolina drops to 5-4 overall, while the Sooners improve to 7-0.

For the game, Stacy Booker and Melanie Johnson led the Gamecocks with 10 points, with all of Booker`s coming in the first half. Oklahoma center Courtney Paris led all scorers with 15 points and 16 rebounds to post the game’s only double-double. Despite winning the turnover battle (12-to-23), the Carolina offense could not match with Oklahoma’s as the Sooners posted 40 points in the paint and shot 58% for the game to Carolina’s 29%.

The first half was one of small runs by the Sooners to keep the Gamecocks at bay. Carolina was dealt an early blow when leading scorer Iva Sliskovic picked up her second foul 38 seconds after the opening tip. Oklahoma began to pull away with a 9-2 lead before Melanie Johnson got a steal and pulled up the jumper to end the run. Stacy Booker, retaining the shooting touch she displayed in the last game against Fordham, brought the Gamecocks within two at 15-13 after hitting her second consecutive three-pointer with 12:09 remaining in the half

Using backdoor cuts and screens, the Sooners responded with two smalls runs – 4-0 and 6-0 – to take the first double digit lead of the game at 26-16 with 8:30 remaining. Working out of its full court press, Carolina used Sliskovic and Burgrova to double-team Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris for the remainder of the half, keeping the lead at an eight point differential into the half. The Gamecocks had a few opportunities to cut the lead in the final minute but were held silent after Sliskovic picked up her third foul with 56 seconds remaining in the half.

Carolina’s starters were a combined 0-for-12 from the field in the first half. The team overall shot 27% in the first half, led by Booker’s 10 points. The Sooners held an 18-8 advantage for points in the paint and shot 48% for the half on 12-of-25 from the field.

Both teams traded shots early in the second half, but the Sooners began to pull away after hitting three consecutive three-pointers to take a 32-50 lead. After being held to only 1-for-4 beyond the arc in the first period, Oklahoma ended the game at 7-for-13. The Sooners shot lights out in the second half at 67% to solidify the lead and the win.

Carolina returns to action Wednesday, Dec. 20 in the front end of a double-header. The Gamecocks will take on High Point at 4 p.m. at the Colonial Center.