Originally created 02/09/00

Gamecocks test Ole Miss



For the first time since Jan. 22, South Carolina will be assured of playing an unranked opponent when it takes the floor tonight at Mississippi (8 p.m., no TV).

The Gamecocks (9-13, 1-8 SEC), losers of their past eight, can only hope the change of their foe's pedigree translates into their first win in more than a month.

Though they boast a 14-7 overall record, the Rebels are 2-6 in the conference and the sole occupants of last place in the SEC West.

In its last time out, Ole Miss bagged an 87-82 victory over visiting Arkansas last Wednesday. The Gamecocks are coming off Saturday's 76-63 loss at then-No. 14 Kentucky.

South Carolina will again be without Aaron Lucas, its starting sophomore point guard who's missed the past three games with a fractured right hand.

After tonight, the Gamecocks will take seven days off before returning to the court next Wednesday against Mississippi State at Carolina Coliseum (8 p.m., JP).

Paine's Lions (7-9, 5-4 SIAC), coming off a road victory over Morris Brown on Monday, plays host to Fort Valley State (11-9, 7-5) at Carter Gymnasium. The women's game between the two schools is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., followed by the Lions at 7:30. The Lady Lions are 3-14, 2-6 while Fort Valley State is 14-5, 10-1).

In Peach Belt Athletic Conference action, Augusta State plays a doubleheader at UNC Pembroke and USC Aiken visits USC Spartanburg.

The Jaguars (10-9, 6-3), who hold the top spot in the conference's Northern Division over Lander, while Pembroke is 12-8 and 2-8 in the Peach Belt.

The Lady Jags are 8-10, 3-7, while Pembroke is 10-10, 2-8.

In other games tonight, Georgia (2-7, 9-13 SEC) is on the road at Tennessee (19-3, 7-2) at 8 p.m. and Virginia (15-7, 5-4 ACC) plays at Georgia Tech (10-11, 2-6) at 7:30.

CONNECTICUT:

Connecticut has lifted the suspensions of freshmen Tony Robertson and Doug Wrenn.

Coach Jim Calhoun suspended the pair Friday, a day before an 85-66 loss at Michigan State, following an offcampus incident. Farmington police reportedly are investigating whether the players improperly received merchandise last month at a Westfarms mall store.

Robertson practiced on Tuesday, but Wrenn did not.

Calhoun said he met with Wrenn before practice and will again before tonight's game against Boston College.

The 13th-ranked Huskies (16-5, 5-3 Big East) are coming off their worst loss of the season and dropped out of the Top 10 for the first time in three years. Connecticut won the NCAA title last season.