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Jan. 7, 2009

South Carolina vs. No. 9/8 Auburn | 7 p.m.
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Last Time Out
In a game that saw the lead change hands five times in the final minute, South Carolina’s Demetress Adams struck the final blow at the buzzer to give the Gamecocks a 56-55 win at NC State Sunday. The teams were tied at the half, and the Wolfpack overcame a double-digit South Carolina lead midway through the second half to set up late-game heroics for both teams. For the second-straight game the Gamecocks’ three seniors led the offense, including C.J. Pace who recorded her first career double-double and delivered the pin-point pass that helped Adams to the winning bucket.

Series Notes
Auburn leads the series 18-12, although the Gamecocks have won two of the last three meetings. The Tigers prevailed in the most recent meeting, an 83-72 decision over the Gamecocks on Feb. 17, 2008, in Auburn, Ala. That Auburn victory avenged Carolina’s 65-63 win in the first round of the 2007 SEC Tournament and the 70-61 regular-season win for the Gamecocks on Feb. 15, 2007. South Carolina holds an 8-6 edge in games played in Columbia, having won two of the last three matchups on its home floor. The Tigers’ last win in Columbia was a 56-47 decision on Feb. 6, 2005. The last time a nationally-ranked Auburn team played South Carolina, the then-No. 14 Tigers scored a 69-58 home win on Feb. 15, 2004.

Injury Report
Sada Wheeler is not with the team during the semester break for personal reasons.

A South Carolina Win Would …
• Be the Gamecocks’ first over a nationally-ranked team since topping then-No. 14 Minnesota 79-61 on Dec. 13, 2005, in Columbia.
• Be the program’s first over a top-10 team since a 71-52 win over then-No. 6 Vanderbilt on Jan. 3, 2002, in Columbia.
• Be the Gamecocks’ first over a nationally-ranked SEC team since beating then-No. 13 Arkansas 83-59 on Feb. 16, 2003, in Columbia.
• Make the Gamecocks 1-0 in the SEC for the first time since opening league play with an 83-79 home win over then-No. 15 Mississippi St. on Jan. 9, 2003.
• Be the Gamecocks’ sixth in the last eight games.
• Be head coach Dawn Staley’s first coaching win over a nationally-ranked team since she led Temple to a 48-47 victory at then-No. 9 Rutgers on Jan. 19, 2006 – the highest-ranked team she has defeated in her career.
• Be head coach Dawn Staley’s fourth against a nationally-ranked team in 24 outings.

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,

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.

Elite Visitors
Auburn is the third top-10 team to visit Colonial Life Arena this season, providing Gamecock fans more opportunities to see the nation’s elite this season than any since 1991-92. After three top-10 squads came to Columbia that season (No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 2 Tennessee, and No. 8 Mississippi), top-10 teams have visited five times – the most recent being 2006-07 (No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 7 LSU). The 1979-80 team holds the record for games hosting a top-10 team at four, although two of those were part of the AIAW Region II Tournament. The Gamecock record for games against nationally-ranked teams (top 25) in a season is 13, which the 1989-90 squad faced, winning four of the outings. This season, Carolina has the opportunity to play a top-25 team seven times with five of those games at Colonial Life Arena (based on Dec. 30 rankings).

Spread Offense
Opponents may find it difficult to scout the Gamecock offense so far this season as the team has had seven different players lead the offense through 13 games. Players have shared the team lead in three games, and only three players have been the team’s sole points leader in multiple games – senior Demetress Adams, senior Brionna Dickerson and freshman LaKeisha Sutton.

Holiday Greetings
South Carolina is 2-1 since returning from its four-day Christmas break with the lone loss coming at the hands of No. 1 Connecticut. In those three games, four Gamecocks averaged more than 8.0 points, and three grabbed more than 6.0 rebounds per outing. Senior C.J. Pace has enjoyed the largest resurgence, averaging 7.7 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds during the stretch. Sophomore Jewel May has flexed her muscle as well, ranking third on the team with 8.7 points per game and tying for second on the club with 6.0 rebounds per contest. As a team, Carolina shot 41.6 percent from the field and out-rebounded those three opponents by 7.7 boards per game.

In the Board Room
Senior Demetress Adams is sixth in the SEC with 8.2 rebounds per game. She was atop the standings in the category for much of the early season thanks to grabbing double-digit boards in five of the Gamecocks’ first eight games. Since tying her season high with 12 rebounds against USC Upstate, she has flirted with double figures just once in four games, snagging nine caroms in the win over Charlotte. Since returning from Cancun, Adams has picked up her offensive output as well, recording double-doubles in her first three games back in the U.S. In fact, she has scored 14 or more points in six of the last eight games and currently sits in 19th in the SEC with 11.5 points per game.

Upping the Pace
Senior guard/forward C.J Pace has thrived in the semester break after opening the post-exam stretch with a career outing against Charlotte on Dec. 21. She scored a career-high 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range, and snagged seven rebounds, including a career-high four on the offensive glass, against the 49ers. Despite being stymied by No. 1 UConn, Pace came back strong against Jacksonville, scoring 13 points to go with seven rebounds and a career-high two blocked shots. At NC State, she recorded her first career double-double, netting 10 points to go with her career-high tying 11 rebounds. Over the last four games, Pace is averaging 9.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. The surge has moved her into fourth on the team in scoring this season, posting 6.8 points per game, and into 17th in the SEC in rebounding at 6.1 caroms per outing.

Brionna’s Boom
Senior Brionna Dickerson has reached double-figure points in all but three games this season to rank 22nd in the SEC with 11.2 points per game. She has hit her season-high of 15 points four times, including three straight games. That stretch included both games of the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic and yielded Tournament MVP honors. In the three games since Christmas, Dickerson has hit 54.2 percent from the field, including a season-best showing of 60 percent accuracy (6-of-10) against Jacksonville.

Doing the Double-Double
South Carolina senior Demetress Adams is tied for second in the SEC lead with four double-doubles this season. Tied with Auburn’s DeWanna Bonner, Kentucky’s Victoria Dunlap and Georgia’s Angel Robinson, Adams is four behind league leader Eleaia Roddy of Kentucky, but has reached her number in fewer games than her rivals. Roddy, Dunlap and Bonner all needed 15 games to get to their marks, while Robinson played 14 games to get there. Adams has turned in four double-doubles in just 13 games. In her career, she has posted 16 double-doubles, leading the Gamecocks to a 13-3 record in those games.

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 66.4 percent of its games (71-36) 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 53-11 record in Colonial Life Arena for a .828 winning percentage.

Judging January
The Gamecocks are 162-158 all-time in the month of January. South Carolina’s best record in the first month of the year came in the 1979-80 season when the Gamecocks were 10-1. In January, Carolina is 99-66 at home, 49-84 on the road and a perfect 4-0 at a neutral site (17 games in the Gamecock history books do not indicate the site of the contest, during which Carolina is 9-8.) The Gamecocks are 1-0 so far in their eight January games this season.

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 two 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. 131 Demetress Adams (2005-present)

The Adams Family
Senior Demetress Adams (Bishopville, S.C./Lee Central) is sixth in the SEC with 8.2 rebounds per game … leads the team and ranks 19th in the SEC with 11.5 points per game … is seventh in the league with 30.2 minutes per game and 19th in blocked shots (0.9 per game) … has recorded four double-doubles this season and has been the team’s leading rebounder seven times … has scored in double figures nine times, including seven games of 14 or more points … hit 7-of-14 from the field, including the game-winning layup at the buzzer, en route to a team-high 14 points at NC State … shot 5-of-7 from the field for 14 points to go with eight rebounds against Jacksonville.

What Do You Serve With Brie?
Senior Brionna Dickerson (Columbia, S.C./Heathwood Hall) is second on the team and ranks 22nd in the SEC with 11.2 points per game … is second in the league with 33.1 minutes played per game … has been the team’s leading scorer four times and reached double-figure points in 10 games … netted 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting at NC State … led the team with 15 points and four assists against Jacksonville.

You Can Call Me Cocoa
Sophomore Lauren Falohun (Atlanta, Ga./Pace Academy) averages 3.4 points and 1.8 assists.

The Kennedy Legacy
Sophomore Samone Kennedy (Birmingham, Ala./Ramsay) has started the last six games … leads the team with 2.2 assists per game … handed out five assists against just two turnovers at NC State.

Jewel of the Nile
Sophomore Jewel May (Conyers, Ga./Heritage) is third on the team with 5.9 rebounds per game, 19th-best in the SEC, to go with 5.8 points per outing … was steady at NC State with nine points and four rebounds, hitting a career-high four field goals … grabbed a game-high nine rebounds against Jacksonville, narrowly missing her second career double-double with nine points as well.

A Newton of Force
Redshirt freshman Courtney Newton (Flowery Branch, Ga./Flowery Branch) has played in nine games after missing the first two games with a right knee injury … battled for a pair of rebounds and swiped a steal against Jacksonville.

Set the Pace
Senior C.J. Pace (Snellville, Ga./Chipola College) averages 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds, 17th-best in the SEC on the glass … has reached double-digit points in three of the last four games … recorded her first career double-double at NC State with 10 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds, while also triggering the inbound pass that led to Demetress Adams’ game-winning layup at the buzzer … had a solid all-around game against Jacksonville with 13 points, seven rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals.

CSI: Columbia
Freshman Charenee Stephens (Decatur, Ga./Southwest DeKalb) has played in every game since making her season debut on Dec. 28 after sitting out the first 10 games for personal reasons … provided a solid 16 minutes at NC State, grabbing a career-best four rebounds, including two on the offensive end … recorded her first career blocked shot against Jacksonville.

Jersey Girl
Freshman LaKeisha Sutton (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) is the team’s third-highest scorer with 8.4 points per game … is 14th in the SEC with a .636 free-throw percentage … added nine points, including a 3-pointer, to the win at NC State … grabbed a career-best three defensive rebounds against Jacksonville

Miranda Rights
Freshman Miranda Tate (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) is scoring 3.4 points per game.

T Time
Freshman Tonia Williams (Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) has come off the bench in five games this season.