Dec. 29, 2006
South Carolina (8-4 overall) travels to Wilmington, N.C., to face UNC-Wilmington (4-6 overall) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Trask Coliseum. The game is the second game in a span of three gams in five days for Carolina, who is fresh off a hard-fought 64-56 win over Samford at the Colonial Center Thursday.
Sliskovic Is SEC Player of the Week
South Carolina senior forward Iva Sliskovic was recognized as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week for her efforts against High Point and South Carolina State last week. Sliskovic turned in the most impressive performance of her career when she posted a triple-double in the Gamecocks’ 87-49 win over High Point on Dec. 20, scoring 18 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists. She came back to score 15 points, grab seven rebounds, dish out two assists and make four steals in only 22 minutes of action in Carolina’s 85-42 win over South Carolina State on Dec. 23. Sliskovic averaged 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists for the week and converted on 14-of-19 field goal attempts (.737 pct.) In receiving the honor, Sliskovic became the second Gamecock this year to be recognized as SEC Player of the Week, as teammate Melanie Johnson earned the award the first week of the season. For the year, Sliskovic leads the team with 11.5 points per game, adding 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest as well. She is on pace to become only the sixth player in SEC history to finish her career with 1,000 points, 650 rebounds, 150 assists and 125 blocked shots.
Saturday’s game marks the second meeting between South Carolina and UNC-Wilmington. The Gamecocks claimed an 82-62 win over the Seahawks in Columbia in 1998 in the only previous meeting. The Gamecocks own an 18-12 record all-time against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association and have won five of their last six games against CAA opposition dating back to 1993.
On The Air
The game will be broadcast live on WISW 1320 AM Radio in Columbia, with Brad Heller handling play-by-play duties and Robin Muller providing analysis. For fans outside of the Columbia area, the game can be accessed worldwide via the internet at uscsports.com.
How To Access the Web Broadcast
Go to uscsports.com, then click on the women’s basketball link on the left side of the page. From there, click on the “schedule” link near the top of the page, then click on the “Audio Broadcasts” link at the top of the page. Choose women’s basketball from the scroll bar on the right side of the page and choose the desired game from the list.
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). Former North Carolina assistant Ann Hancock is in her seventh year at UNC-Wilmington, where she has compiled an 89-91 record, including a 15-13 record last season. Hancock’s team was picked to finish 11th in the Colonial Athletic Association prior to the 2005-06 season, but finished sixth in the final standings. Hancock was a four-time all-conference performer as a player at Wingate, where she earned her degree in 1992.
A South Carolina Win Over UNC-Wilmington Would…
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ fourth consecutive win, matching the longest winning streak of the season. Carolina knocked off North Carolina A&T, Clemson and Mercer in succession earlier this year.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ fifth win in their last six games, with the lone loss coming at the hands of then-No. 3 Oklahoma.
:: Move the Gamecocks to 2-0 all-time against UNC Wilmington, as Carolina claimed an 82-62 win over the Seahawks in 1998.
:: Improve the Gamecocks’ record to 19-12 all-time in games played against teams representing the Colonial Athletic Association.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ first road win of the season. South Carolina lost its first two road games this season, losing a 68-57 decision at Penn State and a 53-41 decision at NC State.
:: Improve Susan Walvius’ record to 99-46 in regular-season games played against non-conference opposition.
UNC-Wilmington From A Distance
UNC-Wilmington owns a 4-6 overall record and has lost its last three games, dropping a 57-52 decision at East Carolina, a 69-55 decision at home against Campbell and a 66-59 decision vs. Coastal Carolina. The Seahawks’ four wins came in succession over Youngstown State, Furman, at South Carolina State and the College of Charleston. Guard Lori Drake is the only Seahawk player averaging a double-figure scoring total with 12.3 points per game. She also leads the team with 9.5 rebounds per game and 1.5 steals per contest. She is a respectable three-point shooter as well, draining 8-of-25 attempts from beyond the arc this year (.320 pct.)
South Carolina and UNC-Wilmington have a handful of common opponents this year in South Carolina State, High Point and NC State. Both the Gamecocks and Seahawks claimed blowout wins over South Carolina State, but while South Carolina romped over High Point, UNC-Wilmington lost a 63-49 decision to the Panthers. Both the Gamecocks and Seahawks lost at NC State.
Sliskovic Heating Up
South Carolina senior forward Iva Sliskovic has stepped her game up lately, averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds in her last three games. Sliskovic scored 18 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and had 10 assists against High Point, then came back to score 15 points and grab seven rebounds in only 22 minutes of action against South Carolina State. She scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds last game against Samford. Sliskovic has posted nine double-doubles in her career, with South Carolina owning an 8-1 record in those nine games.
Simms’ Numbers Are Up After Move To The Point
Senior guard Lauren Simms, primarily known as a shooting guard during the first three years of her career, was recently moved to point guard prior to Carolina’s game against High Point, and the move has been a success, as Simms is averaging 13.7 points 6.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game since taking over at the point. Simms registered her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 assists against South Carolina State on Dec. 23 and has converted on .469 pct. of her field goal attempts since moving to the point, a figure that is a significant improvement from the .304 pct. she was shooting from the field prior to the move. She set a new season high with 15 points against Samford last game and matched a career high with eight rebounds in that same contest.
Everyone’s Getting In On The Fun Lately
In the span of the last three games, a total of four different Gamecocks are averaging double-figure scoring totals, as Iva Sliskovic (15.0 ppg), Lauren Simms (13.7 ppg), Melanie Johnson (11.3 ppg) and Lakesha Tolliver (10.0 ppg) are all pouring in points at a double-figure clip since wrapping up final exams. During the last three games, South Carolina is shooting .520 pct. from the field as a team, is averaging 20.7 assists per game and is outrebounding the opposition by an average of 13.7 boards per game. Perhaps the most efficient player during the recent stretch has been Tolliver, who is averaging 10.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots on .643 pct. shooting from the field in the last three games.
What Can Bench Do For You?
Though bench production is not measured in any conference or national rankings, South Carolina’s non-starters certainly rank as a formidable unit. Through the first 12 games of the year, the Gamecock bench has outscored that of the opposition by a 411-182 margin. The Gamecock bench has outscored that of the opposition in every game but three this season, with the exceptions being at Penn State, at NC State and at home against Samford.
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 162 assists and 129 turnovers in their eight 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 .477 pct. from the field in its eight wins, but is converting at only a .277 clip from the field in its four losses. The Gamecocks average 15.6 steals per game in their six wins, but that number is trimmed to 10.0 steals per game in their four losses.
Balanced Scoring Leads To Victories
In South Carolina’s eight wins this year, five players average 9.4 points per game or more, as Iva Sliskovic (11.6 ppg), Melanie Johnson (10.3 ppg), Lakesha Tolliver (9.6 ppg), Demetress Adams (9.4 ppg), and Lauren Simms (9.4 ppg) all fit the bill, but in the Gamecocks’ four losses, only Sliskovic averages more than 8.9 points per game.
Pick Your Poison
Depth and balance are two of South Carolina’s strengths. The Gamecocks do not have any single dominant player that opposing defenses can key on, rather, they have any number of players who can do damage. Among the illustrations of the Gamecocks’ depth and balance is the fact that 10 of Carolina’s 13 active players have scored in double figures through 11 games this year.