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Jan. 8, 2011

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Game Information

Date: Sunday, January 9, 2011
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Promotions: The Tumble Tree Twister All-Stars will perform at halftime; the Gamecocks will sign autographs after the game
Florida Series: UF leads 19-8; In Columbia: UF leads 8-5; In Gainesville: UF leads 9-3; At Neutral Site: UF leads 2-0
Tickets: $7 General Admission
Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller and Marcy Girton)
Live Stats:
Live Video: All-Access

South Carolina Notables

  • This is the Gamecocks’ 36th season as a varsity sport.
  • The Gamecocks are 8-3 when the bench outscores the opponent’s bench.
  • Thursday’s win over LSU was the team’s first of the season when trailing at the half. The 18-point deficit was the largest the Gamecocks have overcome to win a game in the Dawn Staley era.
  • Sophmore forward Ashley Bruner is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder in SEC play with 13.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg.
  • Since the break, junior guard La’Keisha Sutton is averaging 11.3 points, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game. She has a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio and is shooting 60.9 percent (14-23) from the field.
  • Junior forward Charenee Stephens is probable for today’s game after suffering a left knee injury in the Georgia game. She is being evaluated on a day-by-day basis.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be its 10th-straight home victory, the longest the Gamecocks have gone without dropping a home game since opening the 2002-03 season with a 10-game home win streak.
  • Be its second-straight in SEC play and give the Gamecocks a 2-1 record in SEC play for the first time since the 2002-03 squad went 2-1 in its first three league games.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ 10th of the season, making it the quickest 10 wins in the Dawn Staley era.

Florida Series Notes
The Gators lead the series 19-8 and have won the last four meetings. The Gamecocks last topped Florida in a 69-65 decision in Gainesville on Feb. 24, 2008. The Gators hold a 9-3 advantage in games played in Columbia, where South Carolina last picked up a win (79-51) over Florida on Jan. 25. 2007.

Five for Fighting
In South Carolina’s biggest comeback win of the Dawn Staley era, five Gamecocks scored in double figures en route to a 63-61 win over LSU. The final points of the game – two game-winning free throws with two seconds left – were Ieasia Walker’s ninth and 10th of the outing. It was the first time since a 79-71 win over Kentucky on Jan. 14, 2010, that so many South Carolina players hit the mark. South Carolina last had more than five players reach double figures in a Nov. 29, 2003, win over Florida A&M at Colonial Life Arena.

Boost from the Bench
The South Carolina bench has outscored that of its opponent 11 times in 15 games this season, and the Gamecocks are 8-3 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 7.4 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).

Fast Starter
Sophomore forward Ashley Bruner started SEC play the same way she attacked the start of the season – with a double-double. She led all scorers and rebounders at Georgia with 16 points and 11 boards to post her third double-double of the season. Five of her 11 rebounds came on the offensive end as she shot 6-of-7 from the field at Stegeman Coliseum. She followed that effort with an 11-point, six-rebound outing against LSU. Bruner is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer and rebounder in SEC play, averaging 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. She ranks 11th in the league in scoring and fifth in rebounding in the young conference season.

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 four games, she has averaged 11.3 points (on 60.9 percent field goal shooting), 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals and has a 2.3 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.

Super Six
Junior guard Marah Strickland is the Gamecocks’ second-leading scorer at 10.5 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 10 games since Strickland started coming in off the bench, South Carolina is 7-3 after going 2-3 with her in the starting lineup. The junior guard is scoring 12.2 points per game and hitting 31.9 percent from 3-point range since the move. She has scored in double figures in all but two of those games and ranks among the SEC’s top 30 in scoring and is 11th in 3-point field goals made.

Living in the League
Including a 7-9 mark last season, South Carolina is 74-179 in SEC games since joining the league for the 1991-92 season. The Gamecocks are 49-78 in regular-season SEC games played in Columbia and 25-101 in SEC games on the road. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley boasts a 109-47 career record in league play, including eight seasons leading her Temple team to a 99-25 Atlantic 10 record. She is 10-22 in her third season in the SEC.

Home Sweet Home
South Carolina has won 69.6 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 332-145 mark includes an 88-48 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 9-1 at home this season.

Judging January
The Gamecocks are 168-170 (.497) all-time in the month of January, including a 98-71 (.580) record at home. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 7-11 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. So far this season, South Carolina is 1-1 in January.