Jan. 11, 2007
No. 14 Vanderbilt at South Carolina
January 11, 2007 :: Colonial Center (Columbia, S.C.)
:: Thursday’s game against No. 14 Vanderbilt marked the Gamecocks’ second consecutive contest against a team ranked in the top 15 nationally, as Carolina lost a 69-54 decision at No. 10 Stanford on Monday, Jan. 8. The Gamecocks hosted No. 3 Oklahoma at the Colonial Center on Dec. 3 and lost by a 78-51 margin.
:: South Carolina’s last win over a ranked opponent was a 79-61 victory over No. 14 Minnesota last season.
:: Vanderbilt entered Thursday’s game having won each of its last four games against South Carolina, with the Gamecocks’ last win over the Commodores coming in 2003.
:: South Carolina Head Coach Susan Walvius mixed up the starting lineup a bit for Thursday’s game, going with a three-guard set that consisted of Stacy Booker, Lauren Simms and Shannel Harris to go with Demetress Adams and Lakesha Tolliver in the frontcourt. Thursday’s game marked the debut of that combination of players in the starting lineup.
:: The new starting lineup paid off early in the game, as Carolina started the game on an 14-5 run that spanned the first four minutes and 43 seconds.
:: Stacy Booker‘s hot shooting from last game at Stanford continued over into the first half of Thursday’s game, as she scored a team-high eight points in the first half against Vanderbilt. She finished with a team-high 14 points and has now scored in double figures in each of her last three games and in four of her last five outings.
:: Lauren Simms scored 11 points Thursday, marking her sixth double-figure scoring effort in the last eight games.
:: Consistent with the pattern of balance throughout the roster this year, nine of the 10 players who played for Carolina in the first half made at least one field goal during the opening stanza.
:: By the 8:40 mark of the first half, South Carolina had already scored more points in the paint Thursday against Vanderbilt than it had all game against Stanford in its previous contest. The Gamecocks finished with 34 points in the paint Thursday.
:: Lakesha Tolliver‘s nine rebounds set a new season-high. Her previous high was seven rebounds against East Tennessee State.
:: South Carolina took a 38-31 lead into the locker room at the half. Entering Thursday’s game, Carolina owned a 9-0 record this year when leading at intermission.
:: South Carolina’s bench outscored Vanderbilt’s by a 19-2 margin in the first half and a 28-7 margin in the game.
:: In a clash of strength vs. strength, South Carolina’s stout defense kept Vanderbilt’s potent offense in check during the first half, limiting the Commodores to 31 points in the opening stanza, a figure that ranks as the Commodores’ second-lowest scoring half of the season. The Commodores entered the game ranking fourth in the nation in scoring offense with 81.8 points per game and third nationally with a field goal percentage of 51.0. Carolina, meanwhile, entered the game ranking 10th nationally by limiting the opposition to 53.8 points per game and were 13th in the country in field goal percentage defense at .351.
:: When Booker drained a three-pointer from the top of the key with 14:41 remaining in the game, it marked the 99th made three-pointer of her career, moving her into a tie for 10th on the South Carolina career list with Lisa Williams (1995-99).
:: South Carolina led the entire game until Dee Davis hit a pair of free throws with 22.6 remaining to give Vanderbilt a 67-66 lead, its first of the game. The Gamecocks were unable to score on the ensuing possession to give Vanderbilt the victory.
:: The Gamecocks return to action when they host Alabama at 3 p.m. Sunday, with Vanderbilt hosting Florida at 2 p.m. Sunday.