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Jan. 12, 2007

The Basics
South Carolina (10-7 overall; 0-2 Southeastern Conference) hosts Alabama (10-8 overall; 0-3 SEC) at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Colonial Center.

Ticket Promotions
All fans who show their ticket stubs from the South Carolina vs. Florida men’s basketball game will be admitted for only $3. In addition, fans can participate in the USC Cheer Clinic. For more information, call 803-576-9077.

Series History
Sunday’s game marks the 24th meeting all-time between the Gamecocks and the Crimson Tide, with Alabama holding a 14-9 series advantage. Though the Tide leads the all-time series with the Gamecocks, South Carolina has controlled the series of late, winning six of the last eight meetings between the two schools, including each of the last two confrontations. The two teams have split their 10 meetings in Columbia at 10 wins apiece, with the Gamecocks emerging victorious each of the last three times at home. Alabama hasn’t won in Columbia since 2000.

Carolina’s Last Eight Meetings With Alabama
1/14/01 W 82-67 Tuscaloosa
2/14/02 W 69-54 Columbia
2/9/03 W 48-34 Tuscaloosa
1/11/04 L 71-74 Tuscaloosa
2/12/04 W 77-51 Columbia
1/20/05 L 62-75 Tuscaloosa
2/20/05 W 66-57 Columbia 1/22/06 W 67-48 Tuscaloosa

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). Second-year Alabama coach Stephany Smith came to Tuscaloosa following an eight-year tenure at Middle Tennessee State, where she guided the Lady Raiders to five postseason appearances. She started her career as an assistant at UAB from 1990-93, then moved on to MTSU as an assistant coach from 1993-95 and then as the associate head coach in 1996. She was elevated to head coach the next season.

Alabama From A Distance
Things haven’t come easy for Alabama this year, as the Crimson Tide rolls into the Colonial Center having lost three in a row and four of its last five games. Despite shooting over 50 percent from the three-point line, over 48 percent from the field and outrebounding visiting Kentucky by nine, the Crimson Tide suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Wildcats, 63-62, in Coleman Coliseum Thursday night. Seniors Navonda Moore (14.0 ppg) and Kate Mastin (12.9 ppg) are the only two players with a double-figure scoring average, but freshmen Nikki Davis, Talisha Chandler and Courtney Strauthers are also capable of scoring and provide optimism for the future.

A South Carolina Win Over Alabama Would…
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ third consecutive win over Alabama.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ fourth straight win over the Crimson Tide at the Colonial Center.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ seventh win in their last nine tries against Alabama.
:: Improve the Gamecocks’ record to 10-3 at home this season.

Carolina Capsule: Gamecocks In The Last Five Games
:: The Gamecocks are 2-3 with wins over UNC Wilmington and Winthrop and losses at Kentucky, at No. 10 Stanford and at home against No. 14 Vanderbilt.
:: Guards Stacy Booker (12.0 ppg) and Brionna Dickerson (10.2 ppg) are the team’s two top scorers, and its only two players averaging in double figures.
:: Booker has scored in double-figures four times and has posted her three best single-game rebounding efforts of the season (seven at Stanford, six vs. Vanderbilt and five at UNC Wilmington).
:: Center Ilona Burgrova (6.2 rpg) and forward Lakesha Tolliver (5.2 rpg) are the team’s top two rebounders.
:: Guard Lauren Simms leads the team in both assists (4.0 apg) and steals (2.0 spg).
:: Forward Iva Sliskovic, the team’s leading scorer for the season, is averaging 3.4 points per game on 6-of-20 shooting from the field (.300 pct.) On the year, Sliskovic is averaging 9.1 points per game on 58-of-113 shooting from the field (.513 pct.)
:: Forward Melanie Johnson, a preseason all-SEC selection after earning second-team all-SEC honors last year, is averaging 4.0 points per game on 9-of-27 shooting from the field (.333 pct.)
:: The Gamecocks are scoring 65.0 points per game and yielding only 53.4 points per game.
:: As a team, South Carolina is shooting .426 pct. from the field, a mark that is higher than the squad’s .412 field goal percentage for the season.
:: The Gamecocks are outrebounding the opposition by 13.0 rebounds per game.
:: South Carolina is forcing the opposition into committing 20.2 turnovers per game.
:: The Gamecocks are blocking 8.5 shots per game.
:: The Gamecocks have allowed two 20-point scoring performances, as Stanford’s Brooke Smith scored 28 points and Vanderbilt’s Carla Thomas scored 26.

Gamecocks Lose Heartbreaker To No. 14 Vanderbilt
South Carolina squandered a late lead and lost a 67-66 decision to No. 14 Vanderbilt in its last game. The Gamecocks led all game until Dee Davis drained a pair of free throws with 22.6 seconds remaining in the contest that gave Vanderbilt it’s first lead at 67-66. The Gamecocks have struggled in close games this year, compiling a 1-6 record in games decided by 20 points or less, with the lone win a 64-56 victory over Samford. Dating back to the beginning of the 2003-04 season, South Carolina is 5-20 in games decided by 10 points or less.

Gamecocks Lead The SEC In Rebounding Margin
Entering Sunday’s game against Alabama, South Carolina leads the SEC in rebounding margin by outrebounding the opposition by an average of 11.7 boards per game. In addition, Carolina ranks among the top three in the league in scoring defense (3rd – 54.6 ppg), FG Percentage Defense (3rd – .357 pct.), 3FG Pct. Defense (2nd – .280 pct.), Rebounding Offense (2nd – 45.6 rpg), Rebounding Defense (2nd – 33.9 rpg), Blocked Shots (3rd – 5.41 bpg), Steals (3rd – 12.88 spg), Offensive Rebounds (2nd – 18.65) and Defensive Rebounds (3rd – 27.00)