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Dec. 31, 2006

The Basics
South Carolina tips off 2007 with a 7 p.m. game against in-state foe Winthrop at the Colonial Center on New Year’s Day.

Gamecocks Are State Champs
South Carolina has been dominant over the other schools in the Palmetto State of late, winning each of its last eight games against in-state opposition. The Gamecocks own a 15-2 record in their last 17 games against teams from South Carolina. Included in those 17 games is a 73-42 win over Winthrop last year.

USC’s Last Eight vs. Palmetto State
12/22/04 vs. South Carolina State W, 85-45
12/29/04 vs. Coastal Carolina W, 70-50
1/13/05 at College of Charleston W, 67-37
11/20/05 vs. Winthrop W, 73-42
12/17/05 vs. South Carolina State W, 75-40
1/2/06 at Clemson W, 77-46
11/20/06 vs. Clemson W, 80-48
11/23/06 vs. South Carolina State W, 85-42

Series History
South Carolina and Winthrop have met 10 times through the years, with each team winning five games. The Gamecocks have won each of the last three meetings, including a 73-42 victory last year. Winthrop’s last win over South Carolina was a 60-58 triumph in 1978. Carolina owns a 4-1 record against the Eagles in games played in Columbia, with Winthrop’s lone win a 79-77 victory in 1975.

Game Promotions
Monday’s game is part of Carolina women’s basketball’s holiday break special, with all youths under the age of 18 accompanied by a paying adult admitted free of charge. The holiday break special includes the Gamecocks’ contests against High Point (Dec. 20), South Carolina State (Dec. 23), Samford (Dec. 28) and Winthrop (Jan. 1).

Ticket Information
Adults are admitted for $7. Youths under the age of 18 are admitted free as part of Carolina’s women’s basketball holiday break special. A family of four is admitted for $18, with a $3 admission for each additional child. The group rate is $3 Groups must call the Colonial Center in advance. The group rate number is 803-576-9077. All other ticket arrangements can be made through the USC Ticket Office toll free at 800-4SC-FANS or locally at 803-777-4274.

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

How To Access the Web Broadcast
Go to, 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.

Live Video Stream On The Internet
In addition to the web audio broadcast, the game will also be streamed live on the internet at To access the live video stream, simply go to, then click on the “Gamecocks All-Access” link in the upper-right hand side of the page. From there, choose women’s basketball and then select the game you want to view.

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). Third-year Winthrop Head Coach Bud Childers owns a 19-52 record during his time in Rock Hill. Childers has served as the head coach at Cumberland College, Montevallo (Ala.) University, Murray State, Louisville and James Madison.

Winthrop From A Distance
Winthrop rolls into the Colonial Center with a 3-11 record. The Eagles have lost eight of their last nine, including losses in each of their last three contests. Winthrop’s three wins came over Memphis, Florida Atlantic and South Carolina State. A pair of sophomores lead the Eagles in scoring, as forward Ashley Fann averages 11.0 points per game and guard/forward Tiffany Rodd averages 10.5 points per game.

A South Carolina Win Over Winthrop Would…
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ fifth consecutive win, establishing the longest winning streak of the season and Carolina’s longest since rattling off five straight victories in February of last season.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ sixth win in their last seven games, with the lone loss coming at the hands of then-No. 3 Oklahoma.
:: Move the Gamecocks to 6-5 all-time against Winthrop.
:: Give the Gamecocks their fourth consecutive win over the Eagles.
:: Improve the Gamecocks’ record to 23-6 in games played against teams from the Big South Conference.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ 21st consecutive win over Big South Conference opposition in a streak that dates back to 1978.
:: Improve Susan Walvius’ record to 100-46 in regular-season games played against non-conference opposition.
:: Improve Susan Walvius’ record to 67-11 all-time in home games played against non-conference opposition.

South Carolina vs. The Big South Since 2004
Not only has South Carolina won 20 in a row over Big South opposition, but the Gamecocks have pummeled every Big South team they have faced the last two seasons. A further look:

Year Opponent Result Score
2006 High Point W 87-49
2005 High Point W 71-35
2005 Winthrop W 73-42
2004 Birmingham Southern W 66-40
2004 Coastal Carolina W 70-50

Record: 5-0
Average Margin of Victory: 30.2 points

Common Opponents
South Carolina and Winthrop share a pair of common opponents this year in NC State and South Carolina State. Both teams lost to the Wolfpack, with South Carolina dropping a 53-41 decision at Raleigh and Winthrop losing to the Wolfpack by a 65-54 margin. The Gamecocks and Eagles both defeated South Carolina State, with Carolina romping over the Bulldogs, 85-42 and the Eagles claiming a 63-49 win over South Carolina State.

Colonial Center A Graveyard For Unranked Foes
South Carolina has turned the Colonial Center into a very difficult place for unranked opponents to win of late, as the Gamecocks own an 21-3 record in their last 24 games played at the Colonial Center against unranked opposition, dating back to a 66-57 win over Alabama on Feb. 20, 2005, including an 8-1 record against unranked opposition at home this year.

Gamecocks Have Won Last Four Games
South Carolina enters Monday’s game against Winthrop riding the crest of a four-game winning streak. Following are some key numbers from the recent four-game streak:
:: As a team, Carolina is shooting .521 pct. from the field and has limited the opposition to .290 pct. shooting from the field.
:: Carolina has attempted more than twice as many free throws (84 FTA) as three-pointers (38 3FGA)
:: The Gamecocks are averaging 20.0 assists per game.
:: The Gamecocks have outscored the opposition by a 149-82 margin in the first half.
:: Senior guard Lauren Simms has dished out 20 assists with only 10 turnovers since taking over the starting point guard job.
:: With a 12.0 points-per-game average, Melanie Johnson has been Carolina’s leading scorer.

Burgrova, Johnson Post Double-Doubles
Junior center Ilona Burgrova posted the first double-double of her career in Carolina’s win at UNC Wilmington on Dec. 30 when she scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds against the Seahawks. Senior Melanie Johnson also turned in a double-double performance against UNC Wilmington, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. It marked Johnson’s first double-double of the season and the 13th of her career. With Burgrova and Johnson both notching double-doubles in the same game, it marked the first time since Iva Sliskovic and Cristina Ciocan both turned in double-doubles against Southern Utah in 2003.

Double-Doubles For Everyone
A total of six different South Carolina players have posted a double-double this season, with senior Iva Sliskovic turning in a rare triple-double against High Point. Here’s a look at Carolina’s double-doubles this year:

Kellindra Zackery (28 pts, 11 reb) vs. North Carolina A&T
Demetress Adams (17 pts, 11 reb) vs. Clemson
Iva Sliskovic (18 pts, 15 reb, 10 asst.) vs. High Point
Lauren Simms (14 pts, 10 asst) vs. South Carolina State
Iva Sliskovic (12 pts, 11 reb) vs. Samford
Ilona Burgrova (10 pts, 12 reb) at UNC Wilmington
Melanie Johnson (14 pts, 10 reb) at UNC Wilmington

Nearly A Record-Setting Performance
South Carolina blocked 12 shots in its 75-42 win at UNC Wilmington to set a season high and come just one blocked shot shy of the school record set last year against Western Carolina.

Sliskovic Heating Up
South Carolina senior forward Iva Sliskovic has stepped her game up lately, averaging 11.8 points and 9.0 rebounds in her last four 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 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 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 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 .432 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.

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.

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 13 games of the year, the Gamecock bench has outscored that of the opposition by a 446-190 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
Taking a look at South Carolina’s stats in its nine victories against its stats in its four defeats, here are the most significant differences:

:: In Carolina’s nine wins, the Gamecocks are shooting .481 pct. from the field and allow the opposition to .297 pct. shooting from the field. In Carolina’s four losses, the Gamecocks are converting at a .277 clip from the field and are allowing the opposition to shoot .440 pct. from the field.
:: In Carolina’s nine wins, the Gamecocks have outrebounded the opposition by a +18.7 margin. In Carolina’s four losses, the rebounding margin is dead even.
:: In Carolina’s nine wins, the Gamecocks average 20.0 assists per game. In Carolina’s four losses, the Gamecocks average 10.3 assists per game.
:: In Carolina’s nine wins, a total of four Gamecocks average 8.8 points per game or more, but in Carolina’s four losses, only two players average 8.8 points per game or more.
:: In Carolina’s nine wins, a total of seven different players have positive assist-to-turnover ratios. In Carolina’s four losses, only one player (Lea Fabbri) has a positive assist-to-turnover ratio.