Dec. 30, 2006
WILMINGTON, N.C. — The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to four games Saturday afternoon in Wilmington, N.C., with a 75-42 thrashing of UNC Wilmington. The Gamecocks upped their record to 9-4 and the Seahawks dropped to 4-7.
Four South Carolina players hit double figures in scoring, led by Melanie Johnson’s 14. She added 10 rebounds as well for her first double-double of the year and 13th of her career. Ilona Burgrova tallied her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Stacy Booker had a dozen points for her fifth double-figure outing of the year, and Brionna Dickerson had a career-high 13 off the bench.
The Gamecocks’ size advantage resulted in a 44-18 scoring disparity in the paint. Carolina also rejected 12 Seahawk shots, the second-most in school history. South Carolina has blocked 13 shots in a game twice, with the most recent occurrence against Western Carolina on Dec. 29, 2005.
South Carolina shot above 50 percent for the fourth time in 2006-07, making 30-of-57 for a .526 figure. The Gamecocks limited UNC Wilmington to just 13 field goals and 24.1 percent shooting (13-of-54). USC also dominated the glass with a 57-23 rebounding edge, its best of the season.
The Seahawks saw just one player reach double digits in the scoring column with Sahsha Taylor recording 13 on four field goals and five charity tosses. Lori Drake led the team in rebounds with seven.
The Gamecocks began the contest with eight points in less than three minutes, the first four of which came from Booker. Carolina opened up a double-digit advantage for the first time after Demetress Adams canned a jumper with just over 10 minutes remaining in the stanza, making the score 15-5.
UNC Wilmington was able to close the deficit to seven, 17-10, following a couple free throws by Taylor with 6:42 showing on the clock. USC managed to build its lead back up to as many as 14 with its dominant inside play before taking a 31-19 advantage into the locker room. The Gamecocks outscored the Seahawks 26-8 in the paint during the first period.
South Carolina came out with an 18-4 run in just over six minutes to start the second half and essentially seal the victory. Booker hit two damaging threes during the stretch and Johnson and Burgrova each tallied four points.
South Carolina returns home for its next contest, squaring off against Winthrop on New Year’s Day at 7 p.m. in the Colonial Center.