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Dec. 15, 2008

South Carolina vs. USC Upstate | 5:30 p.m.
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Last Time Out
South Carolina used a 15-0 second-half run sparked by aggressive defense and solid work on the glass to claim a 73-52 win over High Point on Fri., Dec. 5, at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks scored a season-high 73 points with senior Demetress Adams leading four players in double figures with 16 points to go with 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Sophomore Jewel May recorded her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

Series Notes
The two teams have never met.

Injury Report
Senior C.J. Pace suffered a right ankle sprain in practice on Sunday and will not play tonight. She will be evaluated throughout the week. Freshman Charenee Stephens will not suit up for the Gamecocks for an unspecified period of time for personal reasons.

Great Day for Two
Tonight’s game is part of a hoops doubleheader for the Gamecocks. Fans holding a ticket to the women’s game are encouraged to stay for the men’s game against North Carolina Central, which tips off at 8 p.m. Fans may take their women’s ticket to the box office and trade it for a reserved seat for the men’s game at no cost. Tickets are available at the women’s single-game rate of $7 until halftime of the women’s game. After halftime, tickets will cost $12 and be issued as tickets to the men’s game.

A South Carolina Win Would …
• Be the Gamecocks’ fifth in their last six games. • Be the Gamecocks’ 19th straight over an Atlantic Sun Conference team, pushing their all-time record against current league teams to 26-3. • Give head coach Dawn Staley an eight-game record of 5-3, matching that of the Gamecocks’ last three head coaches in their inaugural seasons.

Scouting the Spartans
In the midst of a four-game, seven-day stretch, USC Upstate brings a 4-2 record into Colonial Life Arena. In just their second season at the Division I level, the Spartans started the season 4-0 and, despite losing their first two league games, currently lead the Atlantic Sun in scoring (75.7 ppg), scoring margin (+9.2) and 3-point field goal percentage (.477). Sophomore forward Chelsea McMillan leads the offense with 13.7 points per game, but 3-point shooters Kendra Wallace (12.8 ppg) and Courtney Hawkins (10.5 ppg) are not far behind. A third outside threat, freshman Lesley Daniel, joins the other two in shooting at least 48.5 percent from behind the 3-point line. Wallace, also a freshman, is the key gunner, hitting 16-of-33 from long range. McMillan is the top rebounder for the Spartans with 5.3 boards per game. As a team, USC Upstate is scoring 75.7 points per game on 43.5 percent field goal shooting and has out-rebounded its opponents by 2.5 caroms per game. Opponents have scored just 66.5 points per game on 39.8 percent shooting, including just 28.6 percent from 3-point range. Head coach Tammy George is in her third season at USC Upstate with a 36-57 record, giving her a five-year career mark of 79-78.

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.

Know When to Hold `Em
With an offense that scores just 55.0 points per game, the Gamecocks have relied on a stingy defense to stay in and win games this season. The effort has made South Carolina the fourth-stingiest team in the SEC and the 17th-best defense in the country (through games of Dec. 7) as the Gamecocks have allowed just 52.7 points per game.

Doing the Double-Double
South Carolina senior Demetress Adams is tied for the SEC lead with three double-doubles this season. She has reached that number in fewer games than the other three players with which she shares the standing – Glory Johnson (Tennessee), Angel Robinson (Georgia) and Eleia Roddy (Kentucky). In her career, Adams has posted 15 double-doubles, and the Gamecocks are 12-3 in those games.

Brionna’s Boom
Senior Brionna Dickerson has scored in double figures five times in seven games this season, including a three-game stretch during which she scored 15 points per outing. That surge, which included both games of the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic and yielded Tournament MVP honors, moved her into the SEC’s top 20 with 10.9 points per game. The Gamecocks’ purest shooter, Dickerson found her stroke in Cancun and has been on a tear ever since. In the last three games she has hit 48.5 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from 3-point range.

Chairman of the Boards
Senior Demetress Adams is back atop the SEC with 9.1 rebounds per game. She has led the league in the category for most of the season thanks to grabbing double-digit boards in four of the Gamecocks’ seven games. Her third double-double of the season came against High Point, during which her 16 points helped her scoring average reach double figures (10.3 ppg).

Uncovering a Jewel of a Player
Sophomore Jewel May has been in the starting lineup every game this season and has made an impact each time. After seeing limited action as a freshman, May now finds herself as a key member of the frontcourt. She has risen to the challenge, ranking 12th in the SEC in rebounding with 6.6 boards per game and ninth in the league in free throw percentage, hitting 72.0 percent from the charity stripe.

In Colonial Times
While the Gamecocks’ home court may have taken on a new name, South Carolina continues to enjoy a decisive advantage in Colonial Life Arena. Despite a loss in the 2008-09 home opener, South Carolina has won 66.7 percent (68-34) 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 .833 winning percentage.

Deciding December
The Gamecocks have a 133-71 record all-time in the month of December, including the win over High Point. 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. So far, Carolina is 1-1 in that stretch.

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 eight 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. 125 Demetress Adams (2005-present)

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, beginning tonight. 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 9.1 rebounds per game … is second on the team with 10.3 points per game … is sixth in the league with 29.9 minutes per game and ranks 24th in scoring … has recorded three double-doubles this season and has been the team’s leading rebounder four times … picked up her second double-double in as many games with a team-high 16 points and 11 rebounds, including six offensive, against High Point … posted her second 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 a 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 league’s coaches.

What Do You Serve With Brie?
Senior Brionna Dickerson (Columbia, S.C./Heathwood Hall) is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer and ranks 18th in the SEC with 10.9 points per game .. is second in the league with 33.7 minutes played per game and ranks 11th in 3-point field goals made (1.4 per game) … netted 11 points and handed out three assists against High Point … 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.

You Can Call Me Cocoa
Sophomore Lauren Falohun (Atlanta, Ga./Pace Academy) averages 4.7 points and 2.9 assists … is 15th in the SEC in assists per game … more than doubled her career high with nine assists against High Point, committing just three turnovers … handed 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) is second on the team with 1.9 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 6.6 rebounds per game, 12th-best in the SEC, to go with 6.3 points per outing … is among the SEC’s top 10 in free throw percentage (.720) … recorded her first career double-double with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds against High Point … 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 four games after missing the first two games with a right knee injury … scored her first points of the season with a pair of free throws against High Point … grabbed three rebounds in her season debut against Davidson.

Set the Pace
Senior C.J. Pace (Snellville, Ga./Chipola College) averages 5.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game … sprained her right ankle in practice Sunday and will not play tonight … was outstanding on the boards with eight rebounds to go with seven points against High Point … 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 team’s third-highest scorer with 6.4 points per game … reached double-digit points for the third time in five games with 11 points against High Point as her defensive spark off the bench led to a series of layups that put the Gamecocks comfortably ahead … 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 4.7 points per game and shooting a team-best 40.0 percent (6-of-15) from 3-point range … added seven points and four rebounds against High Point … 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 team’s 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 2.5 rebounds per game to go with 3.7 points per game … helped off the bench with four points and three rebounds in just 14 minutes against High Point … 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 five 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.