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Jan. 26, 2011

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Coach Staley – Wednesday Media Availability

Game Information

Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Georgia Series: UGA leads 30-5; In Columbia: UGA leads 13-2; In Athens: UGA leads 14-2; At Neutral Site: UGA leads 3-1
Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller and Marcy Girton);
Live Stats:

South Carolina Notables

  • This is the Gamecocks’ 37th season as a varsity sport.
  • The Gamecocks are 9-3 when their bench outscores the opponent’s bench.
  • In SEC play, junior guard La’Keisha Sutton’s scoring and assists have generated 33.5 percent of the team’s points – 9.4 ppg by Sutton and 9.9 ppg by teammates from her assists.
  • In SEC games, sophomore guard Ieasia Walker is ranked among the league’s top 15 in six categories, including points per game (4th, 15.6 ppg).
  • Senior Jewel May has been a beast on the boards the last four games, averaging 7.5 rebounds over the stretch, including a season-high 11 against Alabama as part of her first double-double of the season.
  • Through games of Jan. 25, South Carolina’s strength of schedule is ranked 22nd in the nation. In the SEC, only Tennessee (3), Florida (20) and Vanderbilt (21) are rated higher.
  • South Carolina’s +22 rebounding advantage over Alabama (Jan. 23) was the Gamecocks’ highest in SEC play since Feb. 3, 2008, when South Carolina out-rebounded Arkansas 56-26 at Colonial Life Arena.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be its 11th home victory this season, the most since the 2007-08 team collected 12 wins at Colonial Life Arena.
  • Give the Gamecocks a 4-4 SEC record, matching the start to last year’s conference slate.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ 12th of the season, the earliest they have reached that mark since 2006-07.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ second over Georgia in the last four meetings.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ first over Georgia in Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina’s last home win over the Lady Bulldogs was a 64-59 decision on Feb. 7, 2002, when the Gamecocks still played in Carolina Coliseum.

By the Numbers
4.9 Assists per game more that the Gamecocks hand out in games they have won (11.9) than games they have lost (7.0) – South Carolina has handed out 10 or more assists 13 times this season, during which it is 10-3.
8.5 Rebounds per game last week by senior forward Jewel May with 12 of the 17 boards coming on the offensive end
8.7 Rebounds per game by sophomore guard Ieasia Walker over the last three games, during which she is avergina 20 points and 3.3 steals
12 Games in which South Carolina has led at the half, during which it has a 10-2 record
18 Games in which the Gamecocks have held their opponent below its scoring average, during which South Carolina has an 11-7 record
19.1 Points per game generated by junior guard La’Keisha Sutton – 9.7 ppg scored plus 9.4 ppg scored off her assists
20.4 Points below its season average that South Carolina held Alabama (48-68.4)
21.7 Minutes per game played by Courtney Newton since she earned a spot in the starting lineup three games ago

The Georgia Series
The Lady Bulldogs lead the series 30-5, although the teams split the two meetings last season. In 2009-10, each team won on the other’s homecourt, as South Carolina topped Georgia for the first time in eight years with a 52-42 win over the then-No. 14 Lady Bulldogs on Feb. 7, 2010, at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia returned the favor just over two weeks later, handing the Gamecocks a 65-49 defeat on Feb. 25. Earlier this season, Georgia opened the SEC season with a 61-51 win over South Carolina, holding off a second-half charge by the Gamecocks. Ashley Bruner’s double-double (16 pts/11 rebs) led the way for the Gamecocks, who cut a 23-point halftime lead down to 10 in the final 20 minutes. Georgia is 13-2 against the Gamecocks in Columbia, including a perfect 5-0 mark in Colonial Life Arena.

Home Sweet Home
South Carolina has won 69.4 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 333-147 mark includes an 89-50 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 10-3 at home this season.

She’s a Jewel
Senior forward Jewel May has spent a career doing the “little things” that coaches love but don’t necessarily show up in box scores. While still filling that bill, May has pounded her name into the last four box scores, including games against some lofty-reputationed frontcourts (at #19/19 Kentucky, vs. #5/6 Tennessee). Averaging a team-high 7.5 rebounds over the last four contests, May kicked off the set with a game-high nine boards while battling Victoria Dunlap at Kentucky. Back at home, she fought off Tennessee’s taller front line for six boards, and May closed out the stretch with a season-best 11 rebounds against Alabama as part of her first double-double (11 points) of the season. In SEC action, May ranks 19th in with 5.3 rebounds per game, and she is eighth in the league with 3.0 offensive boards per outing.

Walking on Sunshine
Sophomore Ieasia Walker ranks among the SEC’s top five scorers in league play, netting 15.6 points per game. The hot-shooting guard has three 20-point games among her seven league outings and has not missed the 10-point plateau during the stretch. Hitting 38.9 percent from 3-point range against league opponents, she ranks sixth in the league and is 12th in overall field goal percentage (.380). The beauty of Walker’s game is that it has not been one-dimensional. Her 4.6 rebounds per SEC game are third-highest on the team, and she has pulled down a team-best 8.7 caroms per game over the last three contests. She recorded her first career double-double at Ole Miss (Jan. 16), the first of the points-rebounds variety by a South Carolina guard since Kellindra Zachery psted 28 points and 11 boards agaisnt North Carolina A&T on Nov. 17, 2006. Defensively, Walker is tied for second in the SEC with 2.6 steals per conference game and has swiped a career-high five steals twice this season, including against Alabama (Jan. 23).

Just Jersey
Junior guard La’Keisha Sutton has been among the most consistent Gamecocks in the lineup, especially since the start of SEC action. Averaging in 9.4 points in league play, Sutton has made just as much impact with her passing. She is fifth in the league in assists per conference contest (4.1) and is ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2). Through seven SEC games, Sutton accounts for 19.3 points per game via her own scoring (9.4 ppg) and her assists (9.9 ppg). That’s 33.5 percent of the team’s total scoring (57.6 ppg). Overall this season, Sutton is second on the team and 30th in the SEC in scoring at 9.7 points per game. Her 3.9 assists per game are good for seventh in the league, and she has a 1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio to rank 11th. She has scored in double figures nine times this season, including four SEC contests, and has handed out four or more assists 12 times, including four league outings. Sutton’s 40.7 field goal percentage is the highest among the team’s guards.