Feb. 7, 2007
South Carolina (13-11 overall; 3-6 Southeastern Conference) starts a brief two-game road swing when it travels to Fayetteville, Ark., to face Arkansas (18-7 overall; 3-6 SEC) at 7 p.m. Eastern time Thursday at Bud Walton Arena.
Game Televised By FSN South
Thursday’s game will be televised live by FSN South with Leah Secondo handling play-by-play and Van Chancellor providing analysis.
Arkansas owns a 14-5 all-time series advantage over South Carolina and has never lost to the Gamecocks in Fayetteville, stringing together a perfect 8-0 record against Carolina on its home court. The Gamecocks and Razorbacks have split their last four meetings, with South Carolina winning a 61-52 decision last year at the Colonial Center.
About The Coaches
South Carolina Head Coach Susan Walvius is in her 10th year at the helm of the Gamecock women’s basketball program. The 2002 SEC Coach of the Year, Walvius led the Gamecocks to the Elite Eight in 2002 and has guided Carolina to the postseason in three of the last five seasons. She has attracted top-15 recruiting classes to Carolina in 2003 (10th) and in 2005 (13th). In her fourth season at Arkansas, Susie Gardner has Arkansas in contention for a potential NCAA bid. At her prior post, Gardner enjoyed a good deal of success at Austin Peay State University, where she closed out her years with a complete sweep, undefeated regular-season title and postseason tournament championship. As a player, Gardner went to two Final Fours and was a part of three Southeastern Conference championships at Georgia.
South Carolina Head Coach
Susan Walvius (Virginia Tech, 1986)
Career Record: 242-241 (17th year)
Record at USC: 144-140 (10th year)
Arkansas Head Coach
Susie Gardner (Georgia, 1986)
Career Record: 176-140 (11th year)
Record at Arkansas: 64-48 (4th year)
Arkansas From A Distance
Arkansas raced out to a 15-1 start this season and could have played itself into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of its success during the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Razorbacks are 3-6 in SEC play and enter Thursday’s contest on the heels of four straight losses at the hands of LSU, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Arkansas’ three SEC wins came over Auburn, Alabama and Florida. Junior center Lauren Ervin has starred for the Razorbacks this year, averaging a double-double with 13.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest. Ervin is complemented nicely by junior guard Brittney Vaughn, who ranks among the top players nationally with 5.8 assists per game.
A South Carolina Win Over Arkansas Would…
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ second straight win over the Razorbacks, as Carolina handed Arkansas a 61-52 defeat last year at the Colonial Center.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ third win in their last five meetings with Arkansas.
:: Mark the Gamecocks’ first-ever win in Fayetteville, as Arkansas holds an 8-0 advantage over Carolina in Fayetteville.
:: Mark the Gamecocks first road SEC win of the year. Carolina lost its first four conference road games at Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee.
:: Vault the Gamecocks over the Razorbacks in the SEC standings, as the two teams enter Thursday’s game tied with identical 3-6 league records.
South Carolina 101; Intro To The Gamecocks
Experience, height and depth are the name of the game for South Carolina. The Gamecocks are the most experienced team in the nation in terms of game experience as the 13-player active roster boasts seven seniors, a redshirt junior and a pair of true juniors. A total of seven different South Carolina players stand 6-feet-tall or above. The Gamecocks are the second-tallest team in the SEC behind Auburn and the 14th-tallest team in the nation. No South Carolina player averages a double-figure scoring total, but seven different Gamecocks score between 6.1 and 9.1 points per game.
Simms Hit 1,000-Point Plateau Last Game
Senior guard Lauren Simms became the 26th member of South Carolina’s 1,000-point club when she drained a baseline jumper in the second half of South Carolina’s game against LSU on Jan. 7. In reaching the 1,000-point mark, Simms became the sixth Columbia native to score 1,000 points during her career with the hometown Gamecocks, joining Brantley Southers (1,982 points from 1981-86), Martha Parker (1,728 points from 1985-89), Shaunzinski Gortman (1,367 points from 1998-2002), Lisa Diaz (1,249 points from 1986-90) and Marsi McAlister (1,160 points from 1981-85). Of the 26 players currently in the Gamecocks’ 1,000-point club, 16 are South Carolina natives. Simms enters the Arkansas game with 1,003 career points, a mark that puts her 25th on South Carolina’s all-time scoring list. Simms needs 10 points to match Cristina Ciocan (1,013 points scored from 2000-04) for 24th on Carolina’s career scoring chart.
Tolliver Brings Blocks Streak Into Arkansas Game
Junior forward Lakesha Tolliver enters the Arkansas game having blocked at least one shot in each of her last 17 games. Tolliver has rejected more than one shot in a game in 12 of her last 14 games played.
Gamecocks In The Top 25 Nationally
South Carolina ranks among the top 25 teams in the NCAA in rebounding margin (10th; +9.5), steals (11th; 12.4 per game), blocked shots (7th; 6.0 per game) and field goal percentage defense (25th; .362 pct.)
Carolina Can Crack Steals Top 10 This Week
As a team, South Carolina has made 298 steals this season, a mark that stands as the 11th-highest total in school history. The Gamecocks need only 10 more steals to crack into Carolina’s team single-season top-10 for steals, as last year’s team currently holds the No. 10 spot with 308 steals. The school record for steals in a single-season is 496, set by the Gamecocks of 1979-80.
2006-07 Gamecocks 3rd On Season Blocks List
The Gamecocks have blocked 144 shots as a team this year, a mark that ranks third on the South Carolina single-season team blocked shots list. The Gamecocks need 32 more blocks to match the 2004-05 squad for second place in school history with 176 rejections. Last year’s team set the school record with 193 blocks.