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Dec. 20, 2006

Box Score | Quotes | Notes

Iva Sliskovic recorded South Carolina’s first triple-double in four years in leading the women’s basketball team to a 87-49 romp Wednesday night over High Point. Sliskovic posted 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists to become the first Gamecock to record the feat since Cristina Ciocan posted 22 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists against Clemson in 2003. With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 6-4 on the season. The Panthers even their record at 5-5 overall.

Sliskovic’s 18 points was a season-high, and her 10 assists were a career-high. It was also her first double-double of the season. Melanie Johnson recorded 17 points and seven rebounds for the Gamecocks while Lauren Simms scored 12 points. Making her first start of the season, Ilona Burgrova scored a season-high 11 points.

High Point used three-pointers to keep the game close in the opening minutes before the Gamecocks used a 16-0 run lasting 3:12 to break the game away early. With Carolina leading 8-6, Sliskovic led the rally with a jumper, followed by consecutive fast break baskets from Johnson and Simms. Johnson next connected with her fourth three-pointer of the season to give Carolina the 18-6 double-digit lead. A free throw by Ilona Burgrova and consecutive jumpers from Stacy Booker and Simms pushed the Gamecocks ahead 24-6 before High Point was able to stop its scoring drought with a shot from the top of the key.

The offensive spurts went stagnant over the next five minutes as both teams traded baskets for much of the rest of the half. The lead stayed around 16 points until Johnson began to take over in the final three minutes, scoring Carolina’s last 10 points of the half, bringing her first half total to 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

With the first half belonging to Johnson, the second half was Sliskovic’s. The senior from Croatia remained on the court for the majority of the half and scored 12 of her 18 points in the second half to help push Carolina’s lead into the 30’s. The Gamecock lead never went below 26 points in the final stanza and increased to as many as 39 points when Sliskovic found Simms in the corner for a three-pointer with 1:38 remaining. Coincidentally, the play gave Sliskovic her 10th assist for the triple-double.

Sliskovic, who entered the game tied for fifth with Teresa Geter and Michelle Murray on the South Carolina all-time blocks list with 99 career blocks, claimed sole possession of fifth place with a rejection on High Point’s Katie Rawl’s with 12 seconds remaining in the first half. Sliskovic previously moved into fifth place on the all-time defensive rebounds list on Dec. 3 against Fordham.

The Gamecocks, entering the game with a +10 rebounding margin, outrebounded the Panthers 62-33 in the game. Carolina, third nationally in steals per game averaging 14.9, also picked 10 steals, leading to a 16-0 margin in fast break points.

Carolina returns to the Colonial Center Saturday when they take on the South Carolina State Bulldogs at 2 p.m. The game will be the second in a flurry of five games in 12 days for the Gamecocks.