USC vs. Clemson Basketball Friday Night

DOLLAR NIGHT All tickets for the game cost only one dollar. Dollar night has been a huge hit with the fans in recent years, with 8,118 fans in attendance for last year's dollar night game against Tennessee and a record 17,712 in attendance for the last dollar night game against Clemson in 2002...

ON THE AIR
The game will be broadcast live on 1320 AM Columbia, with Andy Demetra handling play-by-play and Robin Muller providing analysis. For listeners outside of Columbia, the live broadcast will also be aired worldwide via the internet on the official web site of South Carolina athletics, www.uscsports.com.

ACCESSING THE WEB BROADCAST
To access the internet broadcast, go to www.uscsports.com, then click the "Audio/Video" link at the top of the screen. Follow the prompts from there to select the game you want to listen to.

SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE
Season tickets for South Carolina women's basketball are now available for only $40, making Gamecock women's hoops one of the best values in town. Playing in the nation's most difficult conference (three SEC teams are ranked 1-2-3 in this week's polls), plus an intriguing non-conference slate that includes home games against Clemson, N.C. State and Charlotte make for an exciting season of women's basketball.

SHANNON JOHNSON TO BE HONORED
Former Gamecock great Shannon Johnson (1992-96) will be recognized at halftime of Friday's game. The WNBA superstar and Hartsville native is in town to be inducted into the South Carolina High School Hall of Fame. A three-time All-SEC selection during her career at Carolina, Johnson earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

THE COACHES
Susan Walvius is in her eighth year at the helm of the South Carolina women's basketball program and her 15th year overall as a head coach. Prior to USC, she coached at Virginia Commonwealth and West Virginia. The 2002 SEC Coach of the Year led the Gamecocks to consecutive top-20 national finishes and NCAA tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003. Her 2002 squad advanced to the Elite Eight. In his 18 years as head coach at Clemson, Jim Davis has guided the Tigers to 16 post-season appearances, highlighted by 14 trips to the NCAA Tournament. He is the winningest coach in Clemson history, regardless of sport.

CAROLINA-CLEMSON THIS YEAR
South Carolina and Clemson have met in four different sports this year, with the Gamecocks claiming victories in men's soccer (1-0), women's soccer (2-0) and volleyball (3-0), and Clemson claiming a win in football (29-7).

A FAMILIAR NAME
Clemson sophomore forward Carrie Whitehurst is the sister of Tiger quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.

A CAROLINA WIN WOULD:
• Improve the Gamecocks' record in the all-time series between the two teams to 20-30. • Be the second South Carolina victory over Clemson in the last three years. The Gamecocks claimed a 72-58 win over the Tigers at the Colonial Center in 2002 in front of a record crowd of 17,712 before falling, 103-99 in overtime last season. • Move South Carolina's record to 15-1 in non-conference home games played in the Colonial Center. • Improve South Carolina's record to 14-9 in games played against Clemson in Columbia. • Extend Clemson's current losing skid to five games. The Tigers opened their season with a 62-55 win over Western Carolina before losing consecutive games to Appalachian State, UCLA, San Diego and Furman.

A CAROLINA LOSS WOULD:
• Move Clemson's all-time advantage over South Carolina to 31-19. • Give the Tigers their ninth win in the last 10 meetings between the two teams. • Snap a current four-game losing skid for the Tigers, who opened the season with a 62-55 win over Western Carolina, but have since lost consecutive games to Appalachian State, UCLA, San Diego and Furman. • Be the second consecutive non-conference loss for the Gamecocks at the Colonial Center. Entering the week, South Carolina had a 14-0 record in non-conference home games since moving into the Colonial Center.

UNDER PRESSURE
The amount of work South Carolina put in during the preseason on its full-court press has been apparent through the first four games, as the Gamecocks have forced the opposition into committing 74 turnovers (18.5 per game).

LOCAL PRODUCT STARS FOR USC
Sophomore captain and Spring Valley graduate Lauren Simms came into the season with high expectations after earning Freshman All-SEC recognition last year. She has not disappointed through the first four games, reaching double-figures every game and averaging a team-best 18.0 points per game. She set a new career high when she scored 29 points against Charlotte on November 27.

JOHNSON PROVIDING SECOND CHANCES
Offensive rebounding has been a key factor for the Gamecocks, who have been led by Barnwell's Melanie Johnson. As a team, Carolina is averaging an impressive 19.0 offensive rebounds per game, with Johnson grabbing an SEC-best 5.0 offensive boards per contest. Johnson notched her first career double-double when she scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Charlotte.

TOLLIVER QUIETLY MAKING NOISE
Freshman Lakesha Tolliver has not put up eye-popping numbers, but her contribution to the team has been clear through the first four games. She is averaging 5.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, with a team-best 13 blocks, a mark that ranks second in the SEC. Her five blocked shots against Charlotte set a new Colonial Center record.

GET IT OUT OF HERE!
Led by Johnson and Tolliver, the Gamecocks sit in second in the SEC rankings in blocked shots with 6.5 blocks per game. As a team, South Carolina is on pace to block 182 shots this year. The existing school record is 115 blocks, held by the 2001-02 squad.

STARTING LINEUPS LIKE FINGERPRINTS; NO TWO ARE ALIKE
South Carolina has fielded a different starting lineup in every game this year. Lauren Simms is the only Gamecock to start in every game.

WANTED: SECOND SCORER
South Carolina needs someone to emerge as a second scorer. Entering Friday's game against Clemson, Lauren Simms averages 18.0 points per game, but no other player averages more than 8.3 points per game. Simms has scored in double-figures every game this season, but when she is excluded, the rest of the team has combined for only three double-figure scoring efforts.

FREE THROW LINE UNFRIENDLY
Free throw shooting has been a bit of an adventure for the Gamecocks through the first four games, as the team is shooting at a .649 clip from the line.

LOOKING FOR MORE FROM THE VETERANS
Some of the players who came into the season expected to be among South Carolina's best offensive players have not produced in the early going, as Olga Gritsaeva (3.5 points per game on 1-of-8 shooting from three-point range), Lea Fabbri (3.3 points per game on 3-of-12 shooting from the field) and Iva Sliskovic (4.3 points per game with only 11 field goal attempts) all need to produce more for the team to start winning consistently.

UNDERCLASSMEN ABOUND
There are no seniors on the South Carolina roster. In fact, the team has only one junior. Forward Olga Gritsaeva is the only upperclassman on a roster that features eight sophomores, two redshirt freshmen and one true freshman.

HILL-MACDONALD RETURNS
One of the top tacticians in the sport re-joined the South Carolina coaching staff this summer in Linda Hill-MacDonald. Hill-MacDonald served as an assistant coach under Susan Walvius from 2000-03 and was a large factor in the Gamecocks' trip to the Elite Eight in 2002 and in the team's consecutive NCAA appearances and top-20 national finishes in 2001-02 and 2002-03. Hill-MacDonald has over 30 years of coaching experience, including the head jobs at Temple University, the University of Minnesota and with the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers.

GAMECOCK STAFF LONG ON EXPERIENCE
South Carolina has an interesting dynamic within its coaching staff, as three of the Gamecocks' four coaches have substantial NCAA Division I head coaching experience. In fact, if director of basketball operations Robin Muller is included, the Gamecock coaches have 50 years of Division I head coaching experience.

HOMETOWN HEROES
The Gamecock roster features four players from the state of South Carolina. Lauren Simms (Columbia/Spring Valley HS), Angela Hunter (Columbia/Columbia HS), Melanie Johnson (Barnwell/Barnwell HS) and Lakesha Tolliver (Columbia/Dreher HS) are the Palmetto State natives.

WNBA, GAMECOCK STAR A HALL-OF-FAMER
Former Gamecock great Shannon Johnson won a gold medal this summer with Team USA at the Athens Olympics. In addition, she was also inducted into the University of South Carolina's Athletic Hall of Fame.

THREE-POINTERS MADE STREAK STILL INTACT
The Gamecocks have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 93 consecutive games, dating back to November of 2001, which marks the longest such streak in school history.

WHAT'S NEXT
After breaking for final exams, the Gamecocks are back in action when they host Florida A&M at 5 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the Colonial Center. The game is the front end of a doubleheader with the South Carolina men's team, who squares off against South Florida at 7:30 p.m. ™™

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