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Jan. 3, 2007

The Basics
South Carolina (10-4 overall) tips off Southeastern Conference play when it travels to Lexington, Ky., for the first of two match-ups with Kentucky this season. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Coliseum.

Series History
South Carolina and Kentucky have met 36 times through the years, with the Wildcats owning a 22-14 all-time series lead. Kentucky won both of last year’s meetings between the two schools and has emerged victorious in five of the last six head-to-head match-ups. UK owns a 13-4 advantage over South Carolina in games played in Lexington and has won each of the last three meetings played at Memorial Coliseum. Carolina’s last win in Lexington was a 49-46 victory in 2003. The two teams have split the last 10 meetings at five wins apiece.

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 Thursday’s contest will also be broadcast live by FSN South with Garry Gupton handling play-by-play and Christi Thomas providing analysis. Carl Nathe will report from the sideline.

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.

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). Fourth-year Kentucky Head Coach Mickie DeMoss has pumped new life into a UK women’s basketball program that dwelled near the bottom of the SEC standings prior to her arrival. The 2006 SEC Coach of the Year as chosen by both the Associated Press and by her peers, DeMoss led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years last season. Previously known as Pat Summitt’s top assistant at Tennessee for years, DeMoss stamped her own identity when she stunned her former mentor by leading her upstart Wildcats to a 66-63 win over the then-No. 1 Lady Vols last year.

A South Carolina Win Over Kentucky Would…
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ six consecutive win, establishing the longest winning streak of the season and Carolina’s longest since rattling off seven straight victories in December and January of last season.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ seventh win in their last eight games, with the lone loss coming at the hands of then-No. 3 Oklahoma.
:: Move the Gamecocks to 15-22 all-time against Kentucky.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ first win in Lexington since a 49-46 triumph in 2003, snapping Kentucky’s modest three-game winning streak over Carolina at Memorial Coliseum since then.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ fifth win in their last six regular-season SEC games, dating back to the end of last season.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ fifth win in their last six SEC road games, dating back to last year.
:: Give Susan Walvius her ninth win over Kentucky, marking her most against any SEC opponent.

South Carolina’s Last Five SEC Regular Season Games
South Carolina won four of its final five SEC regular-season games last year with nearly the exact same roster that it has this year. A closer look:

2/12/06 at Florida W 81-63
2/16/06 at Auburn W 58-46
2/19/06 Ole Miss W 77-66
2/23/06 Mississippi State W 75-47
2/26/06 at Vanderbilt L 88-71

South Carolina’s Last Five SEC Road Games
In a similar vein, South Carolina won four of its final five SEC road games last year. A closer look:

1/22/06 at Alabama W 67-48
2/5/06 at Mississippi State W 51-46
2/12/06 at Florida W 81-63
2/16/06 at Auburn W 58-46
2/26/06 at Vanderbilt L 88-71

Gamecocks Have Won Last Five Games
South Carolina enters Thursday’s game at Kentucky riding the crest of a five-game winning streak. Following are some key numbers from the recent five-game streak:
:: Carolina has outscored the opposition by an average margin of 33.4 points per game.
:: As a team, Carolina is shooting .510 pct. from the field and has limited the opposition to .292 pct. shooting from the field.
:: Carolina has attempted more than twice as many free throws (104 FTA) as three-pointers (49 3FGA)
:: The Gamecocks are averaging 20.0 assists per game.
:: The Gamecocks have outscored the opposition by a 183-95 margin in the first half.
:: Senior guard Lauren Simms has dished out 25 assists with only 14 turnovers since taking over the starting point guard job.

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 10.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game since taking over at the point. Prior to the switch, Simms was averaging 7.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game this season. Simms registered her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 assists against South Carolina State on Dec. 23 and has converted on .467 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.

Simms’ Last Five Games
Lauren Simms has scored in double figures in four of Carolina’s last five games. A closer look:

High Point – 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
South Carolina State – 14 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists
Samford – 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists
at UNC Wilmington – 2 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists
Winthrop – 10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists.

Gamecocks Lead The SEC In Rebounding Margin
As of Jan. 2, South Carolina leads the SEC in rebounding margin by outrebounding the opposition by an average of 13.3 boards per game. In addition, Carolina ranks among the top three in the league in scoring defense (2nd – 52.4 ppg), scoring margin (3rd – +21.4), FG Percentage Defense (3rd – .338 pct.), 3FG Pct. Defense (2nd – .281 pct.), Rebounding Offense (2nd – 46.8 rpg), Rebounding Defense (3rd – 33.5 rpg), Blocked Shots (3rd – 5.57 bpg), Assists (3rd – 17.21 apg), Steals (2nd – 14.00 spg), Turnover Margin (3rd – +6.79) and Offensive Rebounds (2nd – 19.50)