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Nov. 24, 2008

South Carolina vs. Davidson | 7 p.m.
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Last Time Out
South Carolina staged a fierce second-half rally but could not push past Clemson in a 52-45 loss at Colonial Life Arena Wednesday night. The Gamecocks trailed the Tigers by 12 points with six minutes left, then ratcheted up the defense to spark at 7-0 run to get within five at the 4:18 mark. Clemson did just enough work on the boards to hold on down the stretch for its first win over South Carolina in four tries.

Series Notes
This is just the second meeting between these two women’s basketball programs. The first game came back on Feb. 6, 1975, in the first season of varsity women’s basketball at South Carolina. The Gamecocks won that contest 75-48 here in Columbia.

Injury Report
Redshirt freshman Courtney Newton has been cleared to play tonight after suffering a right knee injury in the preseason. Freshman Charenee Stephens will not suit up for the Gamecocks for an unspecified period of time for personal reasons.

Ticket Information
Season tickets are available at two prices. Fans who purchase four season tickets qualify for the Family 4-Pack pricing at $100. Fans who purchase fewer than four pay the full price of $50 per season ticket. Single-game tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for youth (18 and under). For more information or to order tickets, contact the South Carolina Ticket Office toll free at 800-4SC-FANS or locally at 803-777-4274. Fans can also order tickets via the athletics web site,

A South Carolina Win Would …
• Be head coach Dawn Staley’s first win as the Gamecocks’ head coach.
• Improve its record over Southern Conference teams to 65-19.
• Snap a two-game losing streak.

Scouting the Wildcats
Davidson enters the game with a 1-2 record after a 76-58 loss at Towson Saturday night. The Wildcats split their first two games at the Winthrop Hilton Garden Hill Classic, topping host Winthrop 61-50 before falling to Mississippi 50-55 the next day. Senior Mercedes Robinson has done the lion’s share of the work for Davidson, piling up 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Of her 28 total rebounds, 13 have come on the offensive end. Junior guard Alexandra Thompson makes the Wildcat offense go with 4.0 assists per game to go with her 6.3 points per outing. As a team, Davidson has scored 56.3 points per game on 34.1 percent shooting and has out-rebounded its opponents by 9.0 boards per game. The Wildcats have allowed their opponents to score 57.0 points per game on just 31.9 percent shooting.

Friendly Face in Enemy Place
With the Gamecocks struggling to score points this season, it is ironic that the program’s third-best career 3-point shooter arrives Monday night in the form of Davidson assistant coach Kelly Morrone. In her South Carolina career (1999-2004), Morrone hit 36.6 percent (238-650) from 3-point range, the third-highest accuracy in school history. Her career makes and attempts also rank third in Gamecock history.

The Gold Standard
While head coach Dawn Staley has become synonymous with Olympic gold, the entire South Carolina coaching staff boasts a wealth of experience and achievement. Including assistant coaches Lisa Boyer, Carla McGhee and Nikki McCray, the Gamecock women’s basketball staff has combined for 39 years of coaching experience, 29 years of playing professionally in the United States, seven Olympic gold medals and two NCAA National Championships.

Noting November
The South Carolina women’s basketball program has a 61-31 record in the month of November since playing its first November game during the 1978-79 season, including a 30-9 mark at home. While that initial outing was a loss, the Gamecocks did not lose another November game until the 1985-86 season. The Gamecocks have missed out on a winning record in November just five times. Their best mark during the month was a perfect 5-0 slate during the 1998-99 season. Carolina will play five November games in 2008-09 with just two taking place in Columbia.

In Colonial Times
While the Gamecocks’ home court may have taken on a new name, South Carolina has enjoyed a decisive advantage in Colonial Life Arena. Despite a loss in the 2008-09 home opener, South Carolina has won 66.0 percent (66-34) of its games at the facility. The Gamecocks won a high of 15 games in the building in the 2006-07 season and lost a record-low two games in 16 home contests in 2002-03. In non-conference games, South Carolina has a 48-10 record in Colonial Life Arena for a .828 winning percentage.

Chairman of the Boards
Senior Demetress Adams has grabbed double-digit rebounds in both games this season and currently leads the SEC with 11.5 boards per game. Adams opened the season with 12 rebounds at Penn Stats and followed that with an 11-rebounds effort against Clemson, despite playing just 22 foul-plagued minutes.

Senior Moments
Head coach Dawn Staley has preached the value of her three seniors throughout the preseason and early part of the Gamecocks’ schedule. The importance of Demetress Adams, Brionna Dickerson and C.J. Pace is best reflected in the SEC statistical rankings. Adams leads the league in rebounding (11.5 rpg) and is fifth in minutes played per game (31.0). Dickerson leads the SEC with 37.5 minutes played per game, and Pace is tied for sixth in the league at 2.0 3-point field goals made per contest.

Know When to Hold `Em
Without a player averaging double-figure points, South Carolina has had to rely on its defense to stay in games early this season. The effort on that side of the ball has made the Gamecocks among the SEC’s stingiest teams. South Carolina is third in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 54.0 points per game. The Gamecocks have seen opponents hit just 21.1 percent from 3-point range, ranking them second in the league in that category.

It’s a Block Party!
After recording 55 blocked shots in 2007-08, the third-most in school history, senior Demetress Adams looks to continue her charge up the Gamecocks’ career blocked shots list. She needs just 13 to meet former teammate Ilona Burgrova’s 133 in third place.
Career Blocked Shots
1. 177 Lakesha Tolliver (2004-08)
2. 148 Michelle Murray (1989-93)
3. 133 Ilona Burgrova (2004-08)
4. 120 Demetress Adams (2005-present)

Definitive Demetress
Senior Demetress Adams has recorded 13 career double-doubles, including one this season, and the Gamecocks are 11-2 in those games. South Carolina suffered its first loss in a game where Adams reached double figures in points and rebounds at No. 8 LSU on Jan. 31, 2008. The Gamecocks dropped a 56-42 decision at Penn State this season, despite Adams’ 11-point, 12-rebound effort.

Preseason Plaudits
South Carolina senior Demetress Adams earned a spot the Preseason All-SEC Second Team earlier this month. Adams was a second-team all-conference selection by both the coaches and the media in 2007-08 after averaging 10.9 points and 8.9 rebounds.

New Foes
After playing six first-time opponents last season, the Gamecocks will face just two unfamiliar foes in 2008-09 – Stanford and USC Upstate. South Carolina was 4-2 against its first-time opponents last season and is 50-17 in its first meeting with a non-SEC opponent since joining the league in 1991-92.

The Adams Family
Senior Demetress Adams (Bishopville, S.C./Lee Central) leads the SEC with 11.5 rebounds per game … is third on the team in scoring, adding 6.5 points per game … grabbed double-digit boards for the second-straight game with a game-high 11 against Clemson in just 22 minutes … recorded her first double-double of the season in the opener at Penn State, logging 11 points and 12 rebounds, including eight in the first half … scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the exhibition game against Peach State Elite with all but four points and three rebounds coming in the second half … was named to the Preseason All-SEC second team by the league’s coaches.

What Do You Serve With Brie?
Senior Brionna Dickerson (Columbia, S.C./Heathwood Hall) leads the SEC with 37.5 minutes per game … is the Gamecocks’ second-leading scorer at 7.0 points per game … scored four points and grabbed five rebounds against Clemson … added 10 points in the season opener at Penn State … led the team with 16 points in the exhibition against Peach State Elite, playing a team-high 38 minutes.

My Friends Call Me Coco
Sophomore Lauren Falohun (Atlanta, Ga./Pace Academy) averages 5.0 points and 2.0 assists … scored a career-high 10 points, including a career-best 4-for-4 effort at the free-throw line, against Clemson … drew her first career start in the season opener at Penn State, handing out a team-high three assists in 25 minutes … played in 14 games last season, adding 0.1 points and 0.9 rebounds per game.

The Kennedy Legacy
Sophomore Samone Kennedy (Birmingham, Ala./Ramsay) played 19 minutes against Clemson, handing out a pair of assists … saw limited time in the season opener at Penn State … handed out a game-high four assists in just 17 minutes in the exhibition against Peach State Elite.

Jewel of the Nile
Sophomore Jewel May (Conyers, Ga./Heritage) has started both games this season … pulled down four rebounds and hit both her free-throw attempts against Clemson … earned her first career start in the season opener at Penn State, adding six points and five rebounds in 20 minutes on the court … scored seven points and snagged six rebounds in just 10 minutes of action in the exhibition against Peach State Elite.

A Newton of Force
Redshirt freshman Courtney Newton (Flowery Branch, Ga./Flowery Branch) has been cleared to play after missing the first two games with a right knee injury … took a redshirt in 2007-08 following season-ending surgery on her left knee five games into the season … should provide outside shooting punch as she hit 33.3 percent from outside the arc in five games last season, including a 3-for-7 outing against Buffalo.

Set the Pace
Senior C.J. Pace (Snellville, Ga./Chipola College is the team’s leading scorer with 7.5 points per game and is tied for second on the glass with 4.5 rebounds per outing … drew the start against Clemson, adding four points and three rebounds … tied for team-high honors at Penn State with 11 points, including a career-high three 3-pointers, and grabbed six rebounds … played 28 minutes in the exhibition against Peach State Elite, grabbing four rebounds.

CSI: Columbia
Freshman Charenee Stephens (Decatur, Ga./Southwest DeKalb) will not play in any games for an undetermined period of time for personal reasons … was tabbed as the fifth-best forward in the 2008 class by and the 33rd-best player in the class by

Jersey Girl
Freshman LaKeisha Sutton (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) provided a spark off the bench against Clemson, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds in just eight minutes … earned the start in the season opener at Penn State … drew a starting spot in the exhibition game against Peach State Elite and poured in 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting, which included a number of driving layups.

Miranda Rights
Freshman Miranda Tate (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) tied for second on the team with eight points against Clemson, hitting 3-of-6 from the field, including the team’s lone 3-pointer of the game … saw six minutes off the bench at Penn State in her collegiate debut … scored 10 points and handed out two assists in the exhibition game against Peach State, playing 28 minutes of the bench.

Wheeler Dealer
Freshman Sada Wheeler (Gainesville, Ga./East Hall) added two points and snagged a rebound against Clemson … tied for second on the team with six rebounds in the season opener at Penn State … netted 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting and grabbed five rebounds in just 11 minutes of the exhibition against Peach State Elite.

T Time
Freshman Tonia Williams (Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) tied for second on the team in points and rebounds against Clemson with eight of each while adding three steals … made her collegiate debut in the season opener at Penn State, adding an offensive rebound to the effort.