March 21, 2007
Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s basketball team (18-14 overall) looks to set a new single season school record for home victories when it hosts Hofstra (25-7 overall) at 7 p.m. tonight in the Colonial Center. The Gamecocks enter tonight’s game with a 15-4 record at home this year. The Elite Eight team of 2001-02 compiled a 15-1 home record, as did the Gamecocks of 1979-80.
In addition, junior forward Lakesha Tolliver (Columbia, S.C./Dreher HS) can establish a new school record for blocked shots in a single-season, as she enters tonight’s game just one block shy of matching Teresa Geter’s school-record 2000-01 mark of 58 rejections.
On top of the records that can potentially be set tonight, the Gamecocks can also help further the dominance of the Southeastern Conference this postseason, as teams from the SEC have combined to post an impressive 14-1 record in both the NCAA Tournament and the Women’s NIT. Four of the five SEC teams to get into the NCAA Tournament have advanced to the Sweet 16 and all four SEC teams to get into the Women’s NIT are in the round of 16 in that tournament as well.
Observers should not overlook Hofstra, however, as the Pride ranks in the upper half of the nation in every statistical category the NCAA reports, but particularly stands out when it comes to rebounding and defense, ranking 20th nationally in rebounding margin (+6.2 rpg), 34th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.370 pct.) and 40th in scoring defense (57.8 ppg). Hofstra can play with major-college competition, evidenced by its 57-53 win over Michigan State in East Lansing on Nov. 22 and its 64-52 win over Seton Hall last week. Though South Carolina has traditionally feasted on mid-major conference opposition, Hofstra is not a typical mid-major team in that the Pride have comparable size to the Gamecocks with seven players standing 6-feet or taller and have comparable experience to Carolina with four seniors and two juniors on the active roster.