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Jan. 12, 2011

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Coach Staley – Wednesday Media Availability

Game Information

Date: Thursday, January 13, 2011
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lexington, Ky.
Arena: Memorial Coliseum (8,500)
Kentucky Series: UK leads 27-17; In Lexington: UK leads 16-5; In Columbia: SC leads 12-8; At Neutral Site: UK leads 3-0
Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller);
Live Stats:

South Carolina Notables

  • This is the Gamecocks’ 36th season as a varsity sport.
  • The Gamecocks are 8-3 when their bench outscores the opponent’s bench.
  • South Carolina leads the SEC in turnover margin in league games with a +4.3 per game advantage. The team is 68th in the country with a 2.69 turnover margin for the season.
  • The Gamecocks are 39th in the nation in fewest turnovers per game with 15.6. It is the lowest turnover mark for the program since the 1994-95 finished with 15.3 per game.
  • Sophomore forward Ashley Bruner is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder in SEC play with 13.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg. She has scored in double figures all three games, and 13 of her 23 rebounds have come on the offensive end.
  • Junior guard La’Keisha Sutton handed out a career-best eight assists against Florida for the second time this season. Sunday’s effort gave her four or more assists in nine of the last 10 games.
  • Averaging 3,297 fans per home game, South Carolina ranks 27th in the nation in attendance (through games of Jan. 9). The Gamecocks are drawing the fourth-best crowds in the SEC, trailing just Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be its first road win of the season.
  • Give the Gamecocks a 2-2 SEC record, matching last season’s start to league play.
  • Its first over the Wildcats in Lexington since a 65-57 decision at Rupp Arena on March 2, 2008.

The Kentucky Series
The Wildcats lead the series 27-17 after the teams split last season’s games, each winning on its home court. Then-No. 16 Kentucky closed the series with a 71-50 victory in Lexington (Feb. 21) after the Gamecocks had battled for a 79-71 win in Columbia on Jan. 14. South Carolina’s last win in Lexington actually came at Rupp Arena, where the Gamecocks spoiled UK’s Senior Day with a 65-57 victory on March 2, 2008.

Living in the League
Including a 7-9 mark last season, South Carolina is 74-180 in SEC games since joining the league for the 1991-92 season. The Gamecocks are 49-79 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 109-48 career record in league play, including eight seasons leading her Temple team to a 99-25 Atlantic 10 record. She is 10-23 in her third season in the SEC.

Road Warriors
South Carolina has a 176-226 (.438) all-time record on the road. In non-conference action, that number improves to 120-110 (.522) all-time. The Gamecocks’ best season on the road was 1979-80 when they went 11-4. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 7-17 in road games. In her 11th season as a head coach, Staley has a 69-63 road record.

Judging January
The Gamecocks are 168-171 (.496) all-time in the month of January, including a 98-72 (.576) record at home. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 7-13 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 1-2 in January.

Against Ranked Teams
South Carolina is 48-185 all-time against nationally-ranked teams, including an 0-3 mark this season. That record includes a 15-87 mark in away games, a 26-69 tally in home contests and a 7-29 ledger in neutral site contests. South Carolina’s last win over a ranked team was a 73-70 win at then No. 22 Vanderbilt on Feb. 28, 2010. Under current head coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks are 3-19 against ranked opponents. She is 7-26 against top-25 teams in her career.

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 and closed a two-game home stand with a perfect shooting night (8-of-8) – the best in Colonial Life Arena history – for 16 points and six rebounds against LSU. Bruner is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer and rebounder in SEC play, averaging 14.3 points and 7.7 rebounds. She ranks 11th in the league in scoring and ninth in rebounding in the young conference season. Her .704 field goal percentage in SEC play leads the league.

Walk the Line
Sophomore guard Ieasia Walker has started the SEC season much the way she kicked off her freshman league campaign – raising her game, especially from the 3-point line. Through three conference games, she currently ranks among the league’s top three in 3-point field goal percentage (2nd, .462) and 3-point field goals made per game (3rd, 2.0). Her 13. 4 points per SEC game are 15th-best in the league. In the first 14 games of the season, Walker averaged 11.4 points and shot just 25.5 percent from 3-point range. Walker’s 2009-10 SEC season got off to a similar start when she hit an SEC-best 62.5 percent from 3-point range through the first three games and scored 7.7 points per game after turning in 4.5 points per game and shot 30.8 percent from 3-point range in the non-conference portion of the schedule. Walker’s 22-point outing against Florida (Jan. 9) was the fifth-highest scoring game in league play this season and her career-high four 3-pointers in the contest were the second-most by any SEC player in conference action. She has netted 20 or more points twice this season and has reached double-figure points a team-best 10 times.

The Jersey Way
Junior guard La’Keisha Sutton has played solid all-around basketball since the team returned from its holiday break. Over the last five games, she has averaged 11.6 points, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals and has a 2.2 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. She has handed out five or more steals in three of the five games and has turned the ball over no more than two times in three games. Through three SEC games, Sutton ranks among the league’s top 10 in four different categories – assist-to-turnover ratio (3rd, 2.0), assists (4th, 4.7), minutes played (6th, 36.3) and free throw percentage (8th, .875). She is 20th in scoring with 11.7 points per game, third-highest on the team. Sutton’s eight assists against Florida are the most in any league game this season.

Terrific Trio
After not seeing a perfect shooting game (minimum five field goal attempts) from the home team since Iva Sliskovic sank 6-of-6 from the field against South Carolina State on Dec. 23, 2006, the Colonial Life Arena crowd has seen three Gamecocks achieve the mark this season. It is the first time in arena history that one season has generaged multiple entries in the category. Junior Charenee Stephens got things rolling with a 6-of-6 outing against Butler (Dec. 21), and La’Keisha Sutton matched the effort shot-for-shot against Presbyterian (Dec. 28). Sophomore Ashley Bruner matched the best effort in Arena history with an 8-of-8 showing against Florida (Jan. 9). Sliskovic was the first to stay perfect with that many shot attempts (vs. Kentucky on Feb. 24, 2005), and Florida’s Marshae Dotson matched that effort on Jan. 15, 2009.