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Jan. 1, 2011

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Game Information

Date: Sunday, January 2, 2011
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Athens, Ga.
Arena: Stegeman Coliseum
Georgia Series: UGA leads 29-5; In Athens: UGA leads 13-2; In Columbia: UGA leads 13-2; At Neutral Site: UGA leads 3-1
Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller and Marcy Girton);

South Carolina Notables

  • This is the Gamecocks’ 36th season as a varsity sport.
  • The Gamecocks are 7-2 in games in which the bench outscores the opponent’s bench.
  • South Carolina is scoring 21.0 more points per game at home than on the road (66.8-45.8)
  • Since the break, junior guard La’Keisha Sutton is averaging 11.5 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game. She has a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio and is shooting 90.0 percent (6-10) from the field.
  • Three Gamecocks are among the SEC’s top 30 scorers this season – Ieasia Walker (11.4 ppg), Marah Strickland (10.7 ppg) and La’Keisha Sutton (9.8).
  • South Carolina has used four different starting lineups this season with eight players getting at least one start. The Gamecocks have used the same lineup for the last five games.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be its first of the season away from Colonial Life Arena.
  • Be its second-straight in Stegeman Coliseum, following last season’s 52-42 decision over the Lady Bulldogs on Feb. 7, 2010.
  • Be its first in an SEC opener since an 83-79 decision over Mississippi State on Jan. 9, 2003.

By the Numbers
1 – Gamecock who has a higher scoring average away from Colonial Life Arena than on her home court – Marah Strickland (12.0-10.1)
2 – Gamecocks who have started every game this season – Jewel May and La’Keisha Sutton
3 – Gamecocks who have pulled down more offensive rebounds than defensive boards – Ashley Bruner (45-31), Charenee Stephens (36-35) and Ebony Wilson (10-9)
5 – Different players who have led the team in scoring this season – Ieasia Walker (5), Marah Strickland (3), La’Keisha Sutton (2), Ashley Bruner (1), Charenee Stephens (1) and Valerie Nainima (1)
7 – Consecutive games in which La’Keisha Sutton has handed out four or more assists
9 – Games in which South Carolina has led at the half, during which they have an 8-1 record
11 – The largest deficit the Gamecocks have overcome to win this season (Illinois)
18 – The largest halftime lead the Gamecocks have held this season (South Carolina State)
38.9 – Points per game difference in scoring margin for the Gamecocks from home games to away/neutral games (+13.7 / -25.2)
.303 – Difference in the Gamecocks’ season-best field goal percentage (.521 vs. Presbyteran) and their season low (.218 at Stanford)

The Georgia Series
The Lady Bulldogs lead the series 29-5 after the two teams split a pair of games last season. Each team won on the other’s home court as Georgia posted a 65-49 win in Columbia (Feb. 25) and the Gamecocks snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Lady Bulldogs with a 52-42 win in Athens (Feb. 7). South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is 2-3 against Georgia. Last season’s win was her first over the Lady Bulldogs while on the South Carolina sideline.

Living in the League
Including a 7-9 mark last season, South Carolina is 73-178 in SEC games since joining the league for the 1991-92 season. The Gamecocks are 48-78 in regular-season SEC games played in Columbia and 25-100 in league games on the road. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley boasts a 108-46 record in league play, including eight seasons leading her Temple team to a 99-25 Atlantic 10 record. She is 9-21 in her second season in the SEC.

Road Warriors
South Carolina has a 176-225 (.439) all-time record on the road. The Gamecocks’ best season on the road was 1979-80 when they went 11-4. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 7-16 in road games. In her 11th season as a head coach, Staley has a 69-62 road record.

Judging January
The Gamecocks are 167-169 (.497) all-time in the month of January, including a 97-71 (.577) record at home. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 6-10 in the first month of the year. The Gamecocks went 2-6 in Staley’s first year at the helm (2008-09) and were 4-5 last season.

Boost from the Bench
The South Carolina bench has outscored that of its opponent nine times in 13 games this season, and the Gamecocks are 7-2 in those outings. South Carolina is 1-3 in games in which the opponent’s bench scores more points. On the season, the South Carolina bench is outscoring its counterparts by 6.5 points per game. The Gamecock reserves have outscored their peers by 20 or more points three times (Savannah State, NC State, South Carolina State) with the season’s largest differential of 34 points coming against South Carolina State (Dec. 30).

The Jersey Way
Junior guard La’Keisha Sutton has played the team’s best all-around basketball since the team returned from its holiday break. Over the last two games, she has averaged 11.5 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals and has a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Trenton, N.J., native was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field against Presbyterian in the first game back, handily shaking off an 0-of-7 performance against Butler just prior to the break.

Sixth Man Marah Strickland
Junior guard Marah Strickland is the Gamecocks’ second-leading scorer at 10.7 points per game, but it was a move to the bench after five games in the starting lineup that moved her up the scoring chart. With a reputation as a long-range sharp shooter, Strickland opened the season in the starting lineup, but was hitting just 18.2 percent (4-22) from long range and scoring 7.0 points per game through the team’s first five contests. Head coach Dawn Staley decided to move her Preseason All-SEC guard to the bench for the opening tipoff at UC Davis (Nov. 28), and the switch has paid dividends for both team and individual. In the eight games since Strickland started coming in off the bench, South Carolina is 6-2 after going 2-3 with her in the starting lineup. The junior guard is scoring 13.0 points per game and hitting 32.8 percent from 3-point range since the move. She has scored in double figures in all but one of those games and ranks among the SEC’s top 30 in scoring and top 12 in 3-point field goals made.

Heavenly at 70, Successful at 60
The Gamecocks are 7-1 this season when scoring at least 60 points, including a perfect 3-0 mark when reaching the 70-point plateau. South Carolina is 1-4 when scoring fewer than 60. In the Dawn Staley era (2008-09 to present), the Gamecocks are 14-3 when scoring 70 or more points. The team is just 8-25 when falling short of the 60-point mark and an even 10-10 when scoring between 60 and 69 points.

Perfect Pair
Juniors Charenee Stephens and La’Keisha Sutton turned in the sixth and seventh perfect shooting games (minimum five field goal attempts) in Colonial Life Arena history. Stephens turned in a 6-of-6 outing against Butler (Dec. 21), and Sutton matched the effort shot-for-shot against Presbyterian (Dec. 28). The results were the first Gamecock entries in that category of the record book since Lea Fabbri went 5-of-5 against Arkansas on Jan. 29, 2006. The duo are the first teammates to achieve the feat in the same season.

Gamecocks on TV
South Carolina will play 13 games on television this season, including a Feb. 6 appearance at Arkansas on ESPNU. So far, the Gamecocks are 3-1 in televised contests. The Gamecocks played four non-conference games on Fox Sports Carolinas (Nov. 12, Nov. 18, Dec. 5, Dec. 12), and the Big Ten Network broadcasted South Carolina’s game at Penn State on Nov. 21. Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southwest and Sun Sports will air four Gamecock home SEC contests (Jan. 6, Jan. 20, Feb. 20, Feb. 27). One league road game will air on the SEC Network (Jan. 23), and one will air on Charter Sports Southeast (Feb. 17).