March 1, 2007
Final Score: South Carolina 65, Auburn 63
Updated Team Records: South Carolina (17-13 overall) — Auburn (19-12 overall)
Next Up For South Carolina: vs. No. 2 Tennessee (SEC Tournament Second Round); 1 p.m. Friday.
With Thursday’s Win Over Auburn…
:: The Gamecocks kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive by improving to 17-13 overall and 7-8 in games played against SEC opponents.
:: The Gamecocks picked up their second win over the Tigers in the last 15 days, as Carolina handed Auburn a 70-61 defeat in Columbia on Feb. 15.
:: South Carolina picked up its second win over a team with an RPI among the top 40 in the nation, as Auburn entered Thursday’s game with an RPI of 35. The Gamecocks earlier top-40 win also came over Auburn.
:: The Gamecocks won their first SEC Tournament game since a 79-64 victory over Ole Miss in 2003.
:: South Carolina avenged last year’s SEC Tournament first-round loss to the Tigers that bumped the Gamecocks out of the NCAA Tournament.
:: South Carolina picked up its third win in its last four games and its fourth win in the last six games.
:: The Tigers were handed their fifth loss in their last seven games.
:: The Gamecocks picked up their third win in their last four games against Auburn.
:: The Gamecocks set themselves up for a second-round date with SEC regular-season champion Tennessee, set to tip off at 1 p.m. Friday.
:: A total of four different Gamecocks scored in double figures, with Stacy Booker scoring 14 points, Lakesha Tolliver going for 12, Lauren Simms scoring 11 and Melanie Johnson adding 10. South Carolina improved to 11-3 this year when at least three players score in double figures.
:: South Carolina erased a 48-37 second half deficit to take a 56-55 lead with 5:24 remaining when Melanie Johnson drained an eight-foot baseline jumper. The Gamecocks held on to win the game, marking the largest deficit the Gamecocks have overcome to win a game all season. Carolina trailed Mississippi State by nine points at the 14:14 mark of the second half in their regular-season finale, then rallied to send the game into overtime and eventually win, 72-66.
Burgrova Sinks The Big One
:: Junior center Ilona Burgrova scored the game-winning basket when she scored a layup after a nice dish from Melanie Johnson with 20 seconds left to give the Gamecocks a 64-63 lead. The Tigers did not score another point.
:: Melanie Johnson turned in a double-double performance with 10 points and 10 rebounds, marking her fourth double-double of the year and the 16th of her career. Johnson posted double-doubles against both Florida and Kentucky during the SEC season.
:: South Carolina entered Thursday’s game leading the SEC and ranking 13th nationally with a +8.6 rebounding margin. The Gamecocks grabbed 42 rebounds Thursday to Auburn’s 31.
Deadlocked At The Half
:: South Carolina and Auburn were tied at 27 at the half, marking the fourth time this season that South Carolina was tied with its opponent going into intermission. The Gamecocks entered Thursday’s game with a 1-2 record when tied at the half. South Carolina owned the glass in the first half, grabbing 28 rebounds to Auburn’s 16. Included in the Gamecocks’ total were 13 first-half offensive rebounds.
:: Stacy Booker drained three three-pointers Thursday to increase her career total to 116. In doing so, she took sole possession of seventh place on South Carolina’s career list, passing the 114 treys made by Nikki Miars from 1995-99.
:: The Gamecocks grabbed 19 offensive rebounds Thursday to extend their single-season school record to 542.