March 2, 2007
Final Score: No. 2 Tennessee 81, South Carolina 63
Updated Team Records: South Carolina (17-14 overall) — Tennessee (28-2 overall)
Booker Injures Left Knee In First Half, Does Not Return To Game
:: Stacy Booker sustained a left knee injury during the first half. She warmed up with the team coming out of the locker room at halftime, but did not return to game action. Booker was a key player in the Gamecocks’ first-round win over Auburn, scoring 14 points. Entering Friday’s game against Tennessee, Booker averaged 17.0 points per game in her previous four games.
With Friday’s Loss To Tennessee…
:: The Gamecocks lost their 34th consecutive game to the Lady Vols in a streak that goes back to 1980.
:: Carolina fell to 0-9 against teams ranked in the top 25 this year and lost its 14th straight game against a ranked opponent going back to a 79-51 win over then-No. 14 Minnesota last season.
Friday Marks Carolina’s Sixth Game vs. Top-10 Foe This Year
:: When South Carolina faced No. 2 Tennessee Friday, it marked the Gamecocks’ sixth game against a team ranked in the top-10 this season. The Gamecocks faced No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 10 Stanford, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 LSU and No. 9 Georgia prior to Friday’s contest.
Simms Can’t Replicate Prior Success vs. Tennessee
:: Lauren Simms entered Friday’s game averaging 15.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in her five previous career games against Tennessee, but struggled to keep that trend going. She scored two points Friday.
First Half Story
:: Melanie Johnson scored 11 points and matched a season-high with five steals in only 11 minutes of action in the first half, but Tennessee guard Alexis Hornbuckle countered with a 12-point four-assist showing of her own in the opening stanza. The Gamecocks were able to disrupt the Lady Vols at times, making eight steals and blocking five shots in the first half, but Tennessee kept Carolina at arm’s length by snuffing out potential Gamecock rallies with buckets at key moments.
Slow Starts Haunt Gamecocks In Both Halves
:: South Carolina started the game by converting on only three of its first 15 field goal attempts (.200 pct.) The Lady Vols capitalized by taking a 19-6 lead to open the contest. When Carolina and Tennessee met in Knoxville during the regular season, Tennessee started the game on a 19-0 run. Tennessee opened the second half with a 22-7 run to take a 62-35 lead and put the game away.
Tolliver Fouls Out For Only Second Time This Year
:: Lakesha Tolliver fouled out of the game with 11:37 remaining, marking only the second time she has fouled out of a game this year. She picked up five fouls in Carolina’s 95-35 win over Alabama on Jan. 14. Tolliver finished with 13 points.
Tennessee Leads At Half
:: Tennessee took a 40-28 lead into the locker room at halftime. Including Friday’s game, South Carolina fell to 2-11 when trailing at the half this year.
:: The Gamecocks grabbed 15 offensive rebounds Friday to extend their single-season school record to 557.