Dec. 18, 2006
South Carolina (5-4 overall) hosts High Point at 4 p.m. Wednesday as the front end of Gamecock men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. The Carolina men host Princeton at 7 p.m.
Wednesday’s game marks only the third meeting between South Carolina and High Point, with the two teams splitting the two previous games. The Panthers claimed a 69-68 win over the Gamecocks in 1978, with Carolina romping to a 71-35 win in last year’s season opener, played at the Colonial Center.
The Gamecocks own a 21-6 advantage all-time over teams from the Big South Conference and have won 19 in a row over Big South opposition, dating back to 1978. Susan Walvius is 10-0 all-time against teams from the Big South.
About The Coaches
South Carolina Head Coach Susan Walvius is in her 10th year at the helm of the Gamecock women’s basketball program. The 2002 SEC Coach of the Year, Walvius led the Gamecocks to the Elite Eight in 2002 and has guided Carolina to the postseason in three of the last five seasons. She has attracted top-15 recruiting classes to Carolina in 2003 (10th) and in 2005 (13th).
2005 Big South Coach of the Year Tooey Loy leads his alma mater into Columbia fresh off guiding the Panthers to their second appearance in the Big South Tournament Championship game in 2006. Loy was promoted to head coach of the Panther program in the spring of 2001 after serving as an assistant for six seasons. As a point guard on the High Point men’s team from 1990-93, he started all three years and averaged 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists during his career.
South Carolina Head Coach
Susan Walvius (Virginia Tech, 1986)
Career Record: 234-234 (17th year)
Record at USC: 136-133 (10th year)
High Point Head Coach
Tooey Loy (High Point, 1994)
Career Record: 87-66 (6th year)
Record at HPU: 87-66 (6th year)
South Carolina vs. The Big South Since 2004
Not only has South Carolina won 19 in a row over Big South opposition, but the Gamecocks have pummeled every Big South team they have faced the last two seasons, claiming wins over High Point, Winthrop, Birmingham Southern and Coastal Carolina by an average margin of 28.3 points.
Colonial Center A Graveyard For Unranked Opponents
South Carolina has turned the Colonial Center into a very difficult place for unranked opponents to win of late, as the Gamecocks own an 18-3 record in their last 21 games played at the Colonial Center against unranked opposition, dating back to a 66-57 win over Alabama on Feb. 20, 2005.
A South Carolina Win Over High Point Would…
* Improve the Gamecocks to 22-6 all-time against teams from the Big South.
* Mark South Carolina’s 20th straight win over Big South opposition in a streak that dates back to 1978.
* Move the Gamecocks to 2-1 all-time against High Point.
* Move the Gamecocks to 19-3 in home games played against unranked opposition, dating back to February of 2005.
* Improve Susan Walvius’ record to 96-46 in regular-season games played against non-conference opposition.
* Improve Susan Walvius’ record to 64-11 all-time in home games played against non-conference opposition.
The Story Behind The Game
With the challenge of final exams now a thing of the past, the Gamecocks open the rapid-fire portion of their schedule when they host High Point. Wednesday’s game is the first of a flurry of five games in 12 days. Carolina hosts South Carolina State on Dec. 23 and Samford on Dec. 28, then travel to UNC-Wilmington Dec. 30 before coming home for a New Year’s Day tilt with Winthrop.
The Gamecocks need to hold suit during this stretch of games, as every bit of confidence will matter heading into a difficult start to the month of January. Carolina opens the SEC season Jan. 4 at Kentucky, then flies across the country to face Stanford Jan. 8 before coming home to host Vanderbilt Jan. 11.
Gamecocks Lead The SEC In Steals
As of Dec. 14, South Carolina leads the SEC in steals with 14.89 thefs per game.
In addition, the Gamecocks rank second in the league in scoring defense, rebounding offense, rebounding margin and turnover margin.
Pomp And Circumstance
South Carolina forward Larissa Kulcsar participated in graduation ceremonies on Dec. 18, earning a degree in international business. South Carolina has the No. 1-ranked international business major in the country.
Kulcsar became the second Gamecock to walk across the stage, as Shannel Harris graduated in August with a degree in finance and a minor in psychology. She graduated cum laude and is working on a second business administration degree in management with an emphasis on human resources.
The Difference Between Winning And Losing
It’s no secret that valuing each possession, taking advantage of scoring opportunities and defensive activity are keys to victory for most teams, and South Carolina is no different, as the Gamecocks have 100 assists and 82 turnovers in their five wins this year, but have only 41 assists to go with 73 turnovers in their four losses this season.
As a team, South Carolina is shooting .455 pct. from the field in its five wins, but is converting at only a .277 clip from the field in its four losses.
The Gamecocks average 18.8 steals per game in their five wins, but that number is trimmed to 10.0 steals per game in their four losses.