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Dec. 4, 2008

South Carolina vs. High Point | 8 p.m.
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Last Time Out
After holding a one-point lead at halftime, South Carolina struggled with turnovers in the second half in a 74-57 loss at Wake Forest Wednesday morning. Seniors Demetress Adams and Brionna Dickerson led the offense with 15 points each, the third-straight 15-point game for Dickerson, as the Gamecocks shot a season-high 44.4 percent from the field in the game. South Carolina also won the battle of the boards with a 44-28 edge over the Demon Deacons.

Series Notes
South Carolina leads the series 2-1 having won the two most recent meetings. The teams last met on Dec. 20, 2006, when the Gamecocks topped the Panthers 87-49 in Columbia. The long-dormant series was renewed on Nov. 18, 2005, with a decisive 71-35 home victory for Carolina. The teams first met on Dec. 22, 1978, in the UNC Christmas Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C., with the Panthers scoring a 69-68 victory. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley has never coached against High Point.

Injury Report
Freshman Charenee Stephens will not suit up for the Gamecocks for an unspecified period of time for personal reasons.

A South Carolina Win Would …
• Be the Gamecocks’ fourth in their last five games.
• Be the Gamecocks’ third straight over High Point.
• Be the Gamecocks’ 23rd straight over a Big South team, pushing their all-time record against the Big South to 26-6.

New Dawn
Head coach Dawn Staley is in her first season with the Gamecocks following an eight-year run at Temple. She helped her hometown Owls to six NCAA Tournament appearances, four Atlantic 10 Tournament titles and the program’s first national ranking. She compiled a 172-80 record (.683) and amassed six seasons of 20 or more wins.

Scouting the Panthers
High Point is 2-5 on the season after a busy week. The Panthers split two games already this week, topping George Mason 66-55 on Monday before falling to Georgia Southern 80-69 on Wednesday. Three Panthers average double-figure points with sophomore guard Jurica Hargraves leading the way at 15.4 points per game on 49.4 percent shooting, including 39.5 percent from 3-point range. Freshman forward Shamia Brown paces the Panthers on the glass with 6.6 rebounds per game with 21 of her 46 boards coming on the offensive end. The Panthers’ 70.3 points per game is somewhat skewed by a 125-point outing against Emory & Henry. Excluding that game, High Point is scoring 61.2 points per game. As a team, the Panthers are shooting 42.9 percent from the field, including 36.2 percent from 3-point range, and have out-rebounded their opponents by 1.9 boards per game. Opponents have scored 67.7 points per game on 37.6 percent shooting. Head coach Tooey Loy is in his eighth season at High Point with a career record of 117-95.

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.

Chairman of the Boards
Senior Demetress Adams has pulled down double-digit rebounds three times in six games this season to rank second in the SEC with 8.8 rebounds per game. After leading the category for the last few weeks, Adams slipped just behind Georgia’s Angel Robinson (9.3 rpg), despite a 10-rebound effort at Wake Forest on Wednesday. Adams opened the season with 12 rebounds at Penn State and followed that with an 11-rebound effort against Clemson, despite playing just 22 foul-plagued minutes. She grabbed eight against Davidson and seven against Ohio before pulling in a season-low five against UNC Wilmington. Adams returned to double digits with 10 rebounds against Wake Forest.

Brionna’s Boom
Senior Brionna Dickerson has scored 15 points in each of the Gamecocks’ last three games to catapult into the SEC’s top 20 with 10.8 points per game. South Carolina’s purest shooter, Dickerson began to find her stroke at the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic, where she was named Tournament MVP, and proved she got her jump shot through customs with a 5-for-9 outing at Wake Forest, which included 3-for-4 shooting from 3-point range. On the season, she is shooting 34.6 percent from behind the 3-point line and 33.8 percent overall. She is tied for 10th in the SEC with 1.5 3-point field goals made per game.

Spread Offense
Opponents may have a difficult time scouting the Gamecock offense early this season as each game has featured a different leading scorer. In the opener at Penn State, seniors Demetress Adams and C.J. Pace shared high-scorer honors with 11 points apiece. Against Clemson, sophomore point guard Lauren Falohun’s 10 points were the high-water mark for the Gamecocks. In the win over Davidson, freshman swingman Miranda Tate netted 13 points to pace the offense. At the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic, Brionna Dickerson became the first Gamecock to lead the team in scoring in multiple games as her 15 points against both Ohio and UNC Wilmington were both team highs. She made it three in a row against Wake Forest, sharing team-high honors with Adams at 15 point.

Deciding December
The Gamecocks have a 132-71 record all-time in the month of December, including Wednesday’s loss at Wake Forest. South Carolina has gone undefeated in the last month of the year four times, including a 7-0 mark in the 2001-02 season. The most recent perfect December was a 6-0 record in the 2005-06 season. The Gamecocks are 74-21 at home in December and 31-28 on the road. The gap narrows to 22-20 in December games played at a neutral site. (Seven games in the Gamecock history books do not indicate the site of the contest.) This season, the Gamecocks have seven games scheduled in December with six of them to be played at Colonial Life Arena.

Noting November
The South Carolina women’s basketball program has a 63-32 record in the month of November, including a 31-9 mark at home, since playing its first November game during the 1978-79 season. While that initial outing was a loss, the Gamecocks did not lost another November game until the 1985-86 season. South Carolina has missed out on a winning record in November just five times. The Gamecocks’ best mark during the month was a perfect 5-0 slate during the 1998-99 season. Carolina played five November games in 2008-09 with a 3-2 record, including a 1-1 mark at home.

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 10 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. 123 Demetress Adams (2005-present)

Definitive Demetress
Senior Demetress Adams has recorded 14 career double-doubles, including eight last season, and the Gamecocks are 11-3 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. Ironically, the Gamecocks have lost all three games this season in which Adams has had a double-double.

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.

Title Time
With the win over UNC Wilmington, South Carolina won the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic, its first regular-season tournament title since 2003-04. That season, the Gamecocks topped Southern Utah and host New Mexico en route to the Southwest Airlines Lobo Shootout in Albuquerque, N.M.

On Lock Down
The South Carolina defense had Ohio on nearly a complete lock down in the first half of its win over the Bobcats. The Gamecocks allowed just eight points in the 20-minute period, the lowest first-half output by a Gamecock opponent since Bethune-Cookman netted a Gamecock defensive record seven on Dec. 21, 2005. Carolina’s defensive effort matched the one against Florida A&M on Dec. 30, 2001, as the second stingiest in school history.

Double or Nothing
South Carolina held an opponent without a double-digit scorer for two straight games to open play last week. Both Davidson and Ohio failed to see a player reach double-digit points against the Gamecocks. Each team brought at least one double-digit scorer into the contest. In fact, Ohio had three players averaging 10 or more points per game only to score a season-low 34 points against South Carolina.

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.

The Adams Family
Senior Demetress Adams (Bishopville, S.C./Lee Central) is second in the SEC with 8.8 rebounds per game … is second on the team with 9.3 points per game … has recorded three double-doubles this season and has been the teamís leading rebounder four times … posted a double-double with a season-high 15 points and 10 rebounds against Wake Forest … scored 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds against Ohio … just missed her third-straight double-double with a 10-point, eight-rebound outing against Davidson while also swiping four steals … in the opener at Penn State, logging 11 points and 12 rebounds, including eight in the first half … was named to the Preseason All-SEC second team by the leagueís coaches.

What Do You Serve With Brie?
Senior Brionna Dickerson (Columbia, S.C./Heathwood Hall) is the Gamecocksí leading scorer and ranks 18th in the SEC with 10.8 points per game … scored 15 points for the third-straight game, hitting 5-of-9 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range, at Wake Forest … was named Cancun Thanksgiving Classic MVP after leading the team to the tournament title with 15 points against both UNC Wilmington and Ohio … added six points and handed out three assists against Davidson … scored four points and grabbed five rebounds against Clemson … added 10 points in the season opener at Penn State.

My Friends Call Me Cocoa
Sophomore Lauren Falohun (Atlanta, Ga./Pace Academy) averages 4.8 points and 1.8 assists … handed out a career-high four assists against UNC Wilmington … scored four points in 14 minutes against Ohio … pulled down a career-high four rebounds against Davidson … 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.

The Kennedy Legacy
Sophomore Samone Kennedy (Birmingham, Ala./Ramsay) leads the team with 2.2 assists per game … picked up three steals at Wake Forest … swiped four steals and grabbed three rebounds against Ohio … dished out a team-high seven assists to go with six points against Davidson … played 19 minutes against Clemson, handing out a pair of assists … saw limited time in the season opener at Penn State.

Jewel of the Nile
Sophomore Jewel May (Conyers, Ga./Heritage) has started every game this season … is second on the team with 5.7 rebounds per game to go with 5.7 points per outing … was extremely active at Wake Forest, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 23 minutes … added seven points and seven rebounds in just 16 minutes against UNC Wilmington … pulled down a career-high eight rebounds, including four on the offensive end, against Ohio … added four points and matched her career high with two blocked shots against Davidson … 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.

A Newton of Force
Redshirt freshman Courtney Newton (Flowery Branch, Ga./Flowery Branch) has played in three games after missing the first two games with a right knee injury … grabbed three rebounds in her season debut against Davidson.

Set the Pace
Senior C.J. Pace (Snellville, Ga./Chipola College) averages 4.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game … grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds against UNC Wilmington … pulled down six rebounds, including three offensive, to go with four points against Ohio … 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.

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) is the teamís third-highest scorer with 5.7 points per game … was named to the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament team … scored a season-high 12 points against UNC Wilmington, including what proved to be the game-winning basket with the shot clock winding down … tied for team-high honors with three assists playing a season-high 24 minutes against Ohio … found success driving to the basket against Davidson, scoring 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting in just 16 minutes of action … 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.

Miranda Rights
Freshman Miranda Tate (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) is scoring 4.3 points per game and shooting a team-best 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from 3-point range … grabbed a season-high five rebounds against UNC Wilmington … scored a team-high 13 points, including 3 3-pointers, against Davidson … tied for second on the team with eight points against Clemson, hitting 3-of-6 from the field, including the teamís lone 3-pointer of the game … saw six minutes off the bench at Penn State in her collegiate debut.

Wheeler Dealer
Freshman Sada Wheeler (Gainesville, Ga./East Hall) is pulling down 2.4 rebounds per game to go with 3.6 points per game … was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field to add six points against UNC Wilmington … scored seven points and snagged three offensive rebounds against Davidson … 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.

T Time
Freshman Tonia Williams (Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) has come off the bench in four of six games this season … added four points and four rebounds in just eight minutes against Davidson … 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.