Jan. 27, 2007
South Carolina (12-9 overall; 2-4 Southeastern Conference) is home to face Kentucky (14-7 overall; 3-3 SEC) at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Colonial Center.
Sunday’s game marks the 38th meeting all-time between South Carolina and Kentucky, with the Wildcats holding a 23-14 advantage in the series history. The Wildcats have won six of the last seven head-to-head battles, including a 59-55 victory in Lexington earlier this season in the SEC opener for both The Gamecocks have enjoyed decent success over the Wildcats at home, winning 10 of the 16 meetings played in Columbia, though Kentucky has won two of the last three at the Colonial Center, with the exception being a 60-47 Carolina win in 2005.
Injury Update: Fabbri Out
Senior point guard Lea Fabbri sprained her right ankle in South Carolina’s game against Alabama on Jan. 14 and is out for Sunday’s game against Kentucky. Fabbri has sat out each of the last three games and is doubtful for next Thursday’s game at Tennessee.
Simms Could Hit 1,000-Point Mark Sunday
Senior guard Lauren Simms is flirting with the 1,000-point mark for her career, as she enters Sunday’s game with 987 career points and needs just 13 points to become the 26th player in South Carolina history to score 1,000 career points. Simms went for 20 points last week at Mississippi State and scored 10 points in Carolina’s win over Florida on Thursday.
Sunday’s game is Fan Appreciation Day, with all fans admitted for only one dollar. In addition, the first 500 Gamecock fans in attendance will receive a free South Carolina visor courtesy of Verizon Wireless. Contact the South Carolina Ticket Office toll free at 800-4SC-FANS or locally at 803-777-4274 with any questions.
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 uscsports.com.
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.
South Carolina Head Coach
Susan Walvius (Virginia Tech, 1986)
Career Record: 241-239 (17th year)
Record at USC: 143-138 (10th year)
Kentucky Head Coach
Mickie DeMoss (Louisiana Tech, 1977)
Career Record: 110-118 (8th year)
Record at Kentucky: 65-49 (4th year)
Kentucky From A Distance
If there is a team in the SEC that most closely mirrors the experience of South Carolina, it is Kentucky, who returns 10 letterwinners and all five starters from last year’s team that finished with a 22-9 overall record and a 9-5 mark in SEC play. The Wildcats own a 14-7 overall record to go with a 3-3 SEC mark this year and recently picked up their most impressive win of the season to date when they traveled to the Plains to hand Auburn a 68-65 defeat on Jan. 21. Center Sarah Elliott and forward Samantha Mahoney lead the Wildcats in scoring, but guards Jenny Pfeiffer and Carly Ormerod and forward Jennifer Humphrey are also dangerous players who make a difference for Kentucky. UK’s calling card this season has been defense as the Wildcats rank among the top teams in the SEC in scoring defense (fourth; 57.6 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (second; .360 pct.)
Gamecocks In The Top 25 Nationally
South Carolina ranks among the top 25 teams in the NCAA in rebounding margin (6th; +10.8), steals (7th; 13.0 per game), blocked shots (13th; 5.8 per game), scoring margin (17th; +15.9) and scoring defense (24th; 56.0 ppg)
A South Carolina Win Over Kentucky Would…
:: Improve the Gamecocks’ record to 11-6 in games played against Kentucky in Columbia.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ sixth win in their last eight meetings with Kentucky played in Columbia.
:: Improve the Gamecocks to 12-3 at home this season.
:: Snap a three-game losing streak at the hands of the Wildcats, who have won six of the last seven head-to-head meetings between the two squads dating back to 2003.
Gamecocks In The Last Five Games
:: The Gamecocks are 2-3 with wins over Alabama and Florida and losses to No. 14 Vanderbilt, at No. 24 Ole Miss and at Mississippi State.
:: Lauren Simms is the team’s leading scorer with 13.0 points per game. With 10.0 points per game, Iva Sliskovic is the Gamecocks’ second-leading scorer.
:: Lakesha Tolliver is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.6 boards per game. Ilona Burgrova is second with 5.2 rebounds per contest.
:: Simms and Stacy Booker are the team’s top two distributors, with Simms averaging 4.0 assists per game and Booker dishing out 2.4 assists per game.
:: Tolliver is averaging 2.8 blocked shots per game.
:: Lauren Simms and Melanie Johnson have both turned in 20-point scoring performances, with Simms going for 20 at Mississippi State and Johnson racking up 22 against Florida.
:: The Gamecocks have forced the opposition into committing 23.4 turnovers per game.
:: As a team, South Carolina is blocking 6.6 shots per game.
Noting South Carolina’s Schedule
The Gamecocks are 12-9 on the year, with their nine losses coming at the hands of teams that have combined to post a 145-51 record (.740 winning pct.) A closer look at Carolina’s stiffest opposition this year:
Opponent Record (As of 1/26)
at Penn State…… 10-11
at NC State…… 14-7
No. 3 Oklahoma…… 17-1
at No. 10 Stanford…… 17-3
No. 14 Vanderbilt…… 17-4
at No. 24 Ole Miss…… 16-5
at Mississippi State…… 23-8
Combined Record 145-51…… (.740 win pct.)