Notables - Women's Basketball - Mike McGee - More

Mike McGee, our heraled and well deserving Athletic Director, received the Order Of The Palmetto. Susan Walvius' Lady Gamecocks romped the Rajun' Cajuns like you are not going to believe. AND, that ''other Howell'' is back. Keep reading for details ...

Mike McGee Receives Order of the Palmetto

South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges presented the Order of the Palmetto to Michael B. McGee, the University of South Carolina Athletics Director, today at 4:00 p.m. in a ceremony in the Governor's Office.

In awarding the state's highest civilian honor to Dr. McGee, the Governor is recognizing him for his outstanding contributions to promotion of and achievement in sports in South Carolina. Under Dr. McGee's leadership, the University of South Carolina has succeeded at the national level and received national recognition. He has attracted outstanding coaches and athletes to the University. His leadership has helped to improve and build state of the art sports facilities in the Palmetto State.

The Order of the Palmetto was created by Governor John West in 1971. The program was modeled on similar honors bestowed in other states, such as the Kentucky Colonel and North Carolina's Order of the Longleaf Pine.

Governor West instituted the Order of the Palmetto to honor the significant accomplishments of notable South Carolinians. Under the coordination of Phil Grose in the Governor West's office, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism provided artistic design for the Order of the Palmetto certificate. In keeping with the unique honor symbolized by the Order of the Palmetto, the original certificates were handmade and hand-lettered in Old English script. The Order of the Palmetto was awarded at the sole discretion of the governor.

Recent recipients of the Order of the Palmetto during Governor Hodges' tenure include:

The rock group Hootie and the Blowfish, whose album Cracked Rear View sold over 14 million copies. Hootie and the Blowfish have continued to give back to the citizens of South Carolina through their numerous charitable activities, including Farm Aid and the Monday After the Masters pro-am celebrity golf tournament.

Clarke Bynum and Gifford Shaw, missionaries from Sumter who subdued a deranged terrorist on board a 747 flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Bynum and Shaw's heroic actions enabled the crew to bring the plane out of a steep nose-dive, saving the lives of nearly 400 passengers and crew.

Blue Sky, a South Carolina artist best known for his 50' x 75' mural entitled "Tunnelvision" on the AgFirst Bank in Columbia. His works are part of the permanent collections in the White House, the Smithsonian, and the South Carolina State Museum.

No. 18 USC Defeats Ragin' Cajuns 70-41

Columbia, S.C. - The University of South Carolina (8-0, 0-0) began Wednesday's game on a 24-5 run on the strength of Kelly Morrone's four 3-pointers in the opening minutes as the Gamecocks defeated Louisiana-Lafayette (2-5, 0-0) 70-41 in the Carolina Center. This is the seventh win for the team by a double-digit margin.

Defense was the name of the game in the first half as Carolina held the Cajuns to 9.1 percent on 2 of 22 shooting from the field. Both of those field goals were 3-pointers. The Gamecocks also forced 17 turnovers as Louisiana-Lafayette was able to muster only 11 points in the first half. Morrone provided the first half offensive spark making four out of five 3-pointers in the half. She ended the game with 15 points after seeing limited time in the second half.

Senior Jocelyn Penn, SEC Player of the Week and National Player of the Year candidate, led all scorers with 25 points on 11-17 shooting from the field. She also contributed six rebounds to the winning cause. Cristina Ciocan provided her part of the offense, dishing 13 assists on the night and adding nine points and four rebounds of her own.

The Gamecock defense stifled the Cajuns all game, as only one player was able to break double figures in scoring. "Coming in, we respected Louisiana-Lafayette. The players had to learn ten different sets that UL-L runs in one day and I think they did that very well. We did very well defensively in the first half, but the second half should have been more aggressive," said Head Coach Susan Walvius of her team's performance. Carolina forced 24 turnovers for the game and only allowed 25.5 percent shooting. Penn had seven steals for the game, leading the team, which had a total of 13 in the contest.

"We opened with Clemson and have played Oregon and Boston College, both ranked in the Top-25. The schedule has gotten us ready for the SEC. We have tried to take something from every game to help us prepare for conference play. We are ready for a good challenge in playing North Carolina," Coach Walvius added.

South Carolina is next in action this Friday, Dec. 20 at Myrtle Beach in the annual SEC-ACC Challenge. The Gamecocks are paired against 13th-ranked North Carolina. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m.

Columbia, SC - South Carolina men's basketball junior Ivan Howell, academically ineligible the first semester, has been cleared by the University and can begin play immediately. He will be joining the team in Laramie, Wyoming later tonight as he did not travel with the team until he was cleared on Wednesday morning.

Howell, who averaged 2.7 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.4 assists playing forward last season, will come off the bench and is expected to contribute as early as the Wyoming game.

"I am pleased that Ivan has cleared his eligibility and will be joining our team this evening. He is one of the more experienced players, has a lot invested in the team and will make a positive contribution on the team," said USC Head Coach Dave Odom.

Line-up vs. Wyoming The following are the probable starters for the game against Wyoming Thurs., Dec. 19:

F Carlos Powell F Karbrell Brown C Rolando Howell G Jarod Gerald G Chuck Eidson

This is the first time this season that South Carolina has played with this line-up.

Two-A-Day Practice Today South Carolina practiced twice today, once in the morning and the evening, to prepare for Wyoming tomorrow. The morning practice was a full practice while the evening practice was used to go over the game plan against Wyoming.

Coach Odom also wanted the team to get use to the altitude - 7220 feet above sea level.

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