Dec. 11, 2009
NC State Series: NCSU leads 18-9; In Columbia: NCSU leads 6-4; In Raleigh: NCSU leads 8-4; Neutral Site: NCSU leads 4-1
Radio: WISW 1320 AM and GamecocksOnline.com (Brad Muller and Marcy Girton)
Television: SportSouth (Andy Demetra and Debbie Antonelli)
South Carolina Notables
- This is the program’s 36th season as a varsity sport.
- The Gamecocks are 137-73 all-time in December, including a 79-22 mark at home.
- This is the second of four games against ACC opponents on the Gamecocks’ schedule this season and opens a three-game stretch against ACC foes.
- Four Gamecocks average double figures – Valerie Nainima 17.0, Kelsey Bone 16.3, Charenee Stephens 10.8 and La’Keisha Sutton 10.6.
- Sophomore forward Charenee Stephens will miss her second-straight game with a left knee sprain.
- South Carolina is in the midst of its longest homestand of the season with three straight games at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks close out the string on Thu., Dec. 13, against Wake Forest.
A South Carolina Win Would…
- Be the Gamecocks’ second straight against NC State after Demetress Adams’ buzzer-beating layup in last year’s matchup in Raleigh.
- Give the Gamecocks three straight wins on their homecourt to open the season, matching the 2007-08 team’s start. The school record for home wins to start a season is 14 by the 1979-80 squad, which lost just one game in Carolina Coliseum.
- Make the Gamecocks 3-0 this season when playing on live television after going 1-8 on the air last season.
Last Time Out…
South Carolina used a season-high 40 second-half points to push past High Point 70-52 11 days ago in Colonial Life Arena. After battling to a three-point halftime lead, the Gamecocks clamped down defensively, led by Samone Kennedy’s career-high seven steals. Junior Valerie Nainima posted the second 20-point game of her Gamecock career, and South Carolina scored 23 fast-break points in the outing.
Scouting NC State
The Wolfpack has opened the season with a 6-3 record, most recently collecting a 76-62 win over TCU on Dec. 6 to snap a two-game slide. Playing a majority of its games in the friendly confines of Reynolds Coliseum, NC State is 2-1 outside of Raleigh this season. Youth is leading the Wolfpack as freshman guard Marissa Kastanek is the team’s leading scorer at 12.1 points per game. Sophomore forward Bonae Holston is close behind at 11.2 points per outing, while ranking second on the squad with 6.7 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Lucy Ellison paces the Wolfpack on the glass with 7.3 boards per game, including 32 offensive rebounds among her 66 total caroms. As a team, NC State has scored 70.0 points per game on 41.3 percent field goal shooting, including 30.6 percent from 3-point range, and 72.9 percent from the free throw line. The Wolfpack is out-rebounding its opponents by 8.6 boards per game and has a +2.4 turnover margin. Opponents have scored 62.0 points per game, shooting 39.9 percent from the field, including 33.6 percent from the 3-point line. Wolfpack head coach Kellie Harper is in her first season in Raleigh, bringing a six-year career record of 103-68 into today’s game.
The NC State Series
In a series that dates back to the 1977-78 season, NC State holds an 18-9 edge over South Carolina. The Gamecocks snapped a five-game skid to the Wolfpack with a nail-biting 56-55 victory last season at Reynolds Coliseum. South Carolina’s Demetress Adams hit the game-winning layup at the buzzer after a 3/4-court in-bounds pass from C.J. Pace. South Carolina is 4-6 against the Wolfpack in games played in Columbia. The Gamecocks’ last win over NC State on their homecourt was an 81-76 decision on Dec. 11, 1982. The Wolfpack won the most recent meeting at Colonial Life Arena 75-48 on Dec. 16, 2004. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is 1-3 against NC State after going winless against the Wolfpack while she was the head coach at Temple. As a player at the University of Virginia, Staley was 6-3 against NC State, including an epic triple-overtime 123-120 victory over the then-No. 3 Wolfpack in Raleigh on Jan. 12, 1991.
South Carolina boasts a 65.2 all-time winning percentage (137-73) in the month of December, supported largely by a 79-22 record (.782) at home. The Gamecocks have been perfect in the final month of the year three times, most recently with a 6-0 record in December 2005. A 79-61 win over then-No. 14 Minnesota kicked off the month-long winning streak. This season, South Carolina is 1-0 with five games remaining on the December schedule.
Three, It’s a Magic Number
The Gamecocks offense has been most effective this season when having a three-pronged attack. South Carolina is 4-1 in games in which three players reach double figures but lost its outing in which four Gamecocks crossed the 10-point plateau. South Carolina’s lone loss with three players in double figures was the 75-67 decision against No. 20/17 Oklahoma to open the Paradise Jam.
Junior point guard Samone Kennedy swiped a career-high seven steals against High Point, becoming the fifth player in the history of Colonial Life Arena to swipe that many. The arena record for steals in a game is 10 by Georgia Southern’s Tiffany Lanier on Dec. 3, 2002. The last Gamecock to pick an opponent’s pocket at least seven times was Cristina Ciocan, who nabbed seven steals against Stetson on Jan. 4, 2003.
Life in the Fast Lane
Thanks in large part to Samone Kennedy’s seven steals, South Carolina was relentlessly on the move against High Point. The Gamecocks picked up a season-high 15 steals in the contest, the most since swiping 16 against USC Upstate on Dec. 16, 2008. Against the Panthers, the Gamecocks turned those 15 steals into 23 fast-break points, the most in the Dawn Staley era of the program.