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Nov. 30, 2010

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Game Information

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
CSU Series: SC leads 5-0; In Columbia: SC leads 4-0; In Charleston: SC leads 1-0
Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller and Marcy Girton);
Live Stats:
Tickets: $7 general admission

Parking Information

Due to the game being played on a weekday morning, the surface lots around the arena will be full due to students going to class. All fans should park in the Discovery Garage. The fee will be $3 upon entry through the Park Street entrance.

Read with the Gamecocks

South Carolina is celebrating its 12th season of Read with the Gamecocks this year, and today’s game welcomes many of the 4,236 participants in the program’s first segment. Representing 47 schools across the state, the group read 1,075,960 pages. Both the number of participants and pages read are program records. The Gamecocks will honor the child from each grade (pre-k through 5th grade) who read the most pages, the male and female child that read the most pages in the state and the school whose participants read the most pages.

South Carolina Notables

  • This is the Gamecocks’ 36th season as a varsity sport.
  • This is the second season that head coach Dawn Staley has hosted area elementary schools at a home game as part of the Read with the Gamecocks program.
  • South Carolina has outrebounded five of its six opponents this season. No. 3/2 Stanford was the first team to top the Gamecocks on the glass (40-30).
  • South Carolina shot a season-high 47.7 percent in its last home game (vs. Clemson).
  • The Gamecocks’ strength of schedule is rated second in the nation (through games of Nov. 29).


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Bring head coach Dawn Staley within one of her 200th career coaching victory.
  • Put Dawn Staley in sole possession of fifth place on the program’s coaching wins list. She is currently tied with Pam Backhaus, who led the Gamecocks to 26 wins over two separate stints as the head coach.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ sixth-straight over Charleston Southern.

Charleston Southern Series
South Carolina has not lost to the Buccaneers in the five games that make up this series. The last four contests have been played in Columbia, including the most recent – a 72-26 Gamecock victory on Dec. 4, 2007. Four of the series’ five games have been decided by at least 35 points. The tightest of the matchups came on Feb. 16, 1999, when the Buccaneers narrowly missed a victory, falling 78-74.

Gamecocks’ Last Time Out…
South Carolina saw UC Davis hit a barrage of 3-pointer to put together a 21-8 surge that erased a 16-point deficit en route to a 61-52 victory Sunday afternoon. Junior Marah Strickland came off the bench to find her aim on the road, hitting 5-of-11 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 19 points.

Straight Shooting
Heading into the season, head coach Dawn Staley assured fans she was not worried about the offensive production of her squad. She could not have imagined that the Gamecocks would stray so far from their field goal percentage of last season (final FG%age of .414). After not shooting less than 30.2 percent in any game in all of 2009-10, South Carolina has found itself below that mark twice in the last three games. After bottoming out with 21.8 percent accuracy at No. 3/2 Stanford, the Gamecocks bounced back to hit 39.6 percent from the field at UC Davis. Staley hopes the trend continues at home, where her team hit 47.7 percent from the field in its last appearance (vs. Clemson).

Where’s the Help?
Despite having arguably the game’s all-time best point guard at the helm, the Gamecocks have been stingy with the assists this season. South Carolina has amassed just 49 assists on 125 field goals this season (39.2%). After opening the season with assists on half the team’s field goals in the first two games, the Gamecocks did not reach the 10-assist plateau for the next three games. The trend reached its nadir at No. 3/2 Stanford when South Carolina recorded just two assists on its 12 field goals (16.7%). South Carolina bounced back with 11 assists on 19 field goals at UC Davis.

She’s a Jewel
Senior Jewel May has started 36 of the team’s last 37 games because of what she brings to the team outside the box score. That was never more evident than at No. 3/2 Stanford where her stat line of two points and two rebounds did not begin to describe her effort against the Cardinal frontcourt. May has led the team in rebounding three times in the last four games, twice pulling in her season-high eight boards. She earned praise from head coach Dawn Staley following the Clemson game as an example of what the coaching staff had been preaching about taking good shots. Calm decision-making and poise in the post helped May to a six rebounds, including three offensive, and eight points along with a career-best four steals. This season, May is second on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game. Twelve of her 21 total rebounds have come on the offensive end, helping her to 4.5 points per game.

Strick-ly Business
Junior transfer Marah Strickland came to the Gamecocks with a lofty reputation as a spot-on, long-range shooter. After sitting out of games for a season due to NCAA transfer rules, she needed a little time to warm up her shot this season. Strickland showed glimpses against Illinois, hitting 2-of-5 from beyond the arc en route to 13 points. She appeared to find her true rhythm at UC Davis as she led the team with 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting from 3-point range.

Rebounding Riot
Rebounding may have been a concern of Staley’s prior to the season, but her team has out-rebounded five of its first six opponents, including then-No. 5/6 Xavier, who closed the 2009-10 season with a +11.1 rebounding margin and had not been out-rebounded in 21 games. The Gamecocks’ +5.5 rebounding margin is seventh-best in the league and 75th-highest in the nation.

Deciding December
The Gamecocks are 81-22 (.651) all-time in the month of December, including an 81-22 (.786) record at home. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 8-5 in the first month of the season. The Gamecocks went 4-3in Staley’s first year at the helm (2008-09) and were 4-2 last season.

Home Sweet Home
South Carolina has won 69.1 percent of its home games since the 1976-77 season (records did not include the site of games for the first two seasons of women’s basketball). That 325-145 mark includes an 81-49 mark in Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks turned in their most productive home season in 2001-02, winning 17 of their 18 contests in their final season playing at Carolina Coliseum. The team’s best home record at Colonial Life Arena came in 2006-07 when South Carolina went 15-5. South Carolina is currently 2-1 at home this season.

Tough Slate, High RPI
According to (through games of Nov. 29), South Carolina is playing the second-toughest schedule in the country. With 20 of 29 games this season coming against teams that participated in the 2010 postseason, South Carolina has had its work cut out for it right from the opening tipoff. Six Gamecock opponents (nine games) advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Fortunately for the Gamecocks, five of those games will be played at Colonial Life Arena. Early RPI ratings (through games of Nov. 29) have South Carolina coming in at 35. Around the SEC, Arkansas leads the way at 9, while Florida comes in at 15. Tennessee (17) and Kentucky (24) are just ahead of the Gamecocks. Vanderbilt (38), Alabama (40), Ole Miss (71), Georgia (72) and Mississippi State (88) round out the SEC schools ranked in the top 100