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Jan. 29, 2011

Game Notesin PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Game Information

Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011
Time: 3 p.m. (ET)
Location: Auburn, Ala.
Arena: Auburn Arena
Auburn Series: Auburn leads 19-14; In Columbia: SC leads 8-7; In Auburn: Auburn leads 10-5; At Neutral Site: Auburn leads 2-1
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 10-3 when their bench outscores the opponent’s bench.
  • In SEC play, junior guard La’Keisha Sutton’s scoring and assists have generated 33.7 percent of the team’s points – 9.8 ppg by Sutton and 9.6 ppg by teammates from her assists.
  • In SEC games, sophomore guard Ieasia Walker is ranked among the league’s top 15 in four categories, including points per game (8th, 14.4 ppg).
  • Senior Jewel May has been a beast on the boards the last five games, averaging 7.0 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. 27, South Carolina’s strength of schedule is ranked 23rd in the nation. In the SEC, only Tennessee (2), Florida (20) and Vanderbilt (22) are rated higher.
  • outh Carolina ranks fifth in the SEC in rebounding margin in league games (+0.9), despite having a roster with the fewest number of players more than six-feet-tall and being the only team without a player who stands taller than 6-foot-1.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be their third straight over Auburn after sweeping the Tigers last season.
  • Be its fifth SEC win of the season, the fastest the Gamecocks have reached five league wins since the 2002-03 squad, ranked in the top 20 all season, started the season 5-4 en route to a 9-5 SEC ledger.

By the Numbers
1 Gamecock who has started every game this season – Jewel May
3 SEC games in which South Carolina’s defense has yielded more than 60 points – Georgia 61 (Jan. 2), LSU 61 (Jan. 6) and Tennessee 71 (Jan. 20)
5.0 Assists per game more that the Gamecocks hand out in games they have won (12.0) than games they have lost (7.0) – South Carolina has handed out 10 or more assists 14 times this season, during which it is 11-3.
8.0 Rebounds per game by sophomore guard Ieasia Walker over the last four games, during which she is averaging 16.5 points and 3.3 steals, to lead the team in all three categories
13 Games in which South Carolina has led at the half, during which it has an 11-2 record
19 Games in which the Gamecocks have held their opponent below its scoring average, during which South Carolina has a 12-7 record
19.1 Points per game generated by junior guard La’Keisha Sutton – 9.8 ppg scored plus 9.3 ppg scored off her assists
20.3 Average points below its season average that South Carolina has held its last two opponents – #20/24 Georgia (68.2 ppg) and Alabama (68.4 ppg) – both of which scored just 48 gainst the Gamecocks
22.5 Minutes per game played by Courtney Newton since she earned a spot in the starting lineup four games ago
.746 South Carolina’s free throw percentage in the last two minutes of games this season, compared to its .617 percentage in the first 38 minutes of games

The Auburn Series<>br> The Tigers lead the series 19-14, but the Gamecocks have won five of the last eight meetings. Auburn has won 10 of the 15 meetings on its home court, although two of the five losses have come in the last three showdowns in Auburn. Last season, South Carolina kicked off the home-and-home series with a convincing 63-49 decision in Columbia on Jan. 17 the closed its first sweep of the Tigers since 2001 with a 61-58 win at Auburn on Feb. 4.

They’re Free, But They Count
South Carolina may rank ninth in the SEC in free throw percentage, but the Gamecocks have proven they can step up and deliver when it counts the most. Hitting 64.0 percent from the charity stripe overall, South Carolina has shot 68.9 percent from the line in the final five minutes of the game. That number goes up further to 74.6 percent in the final two minutes of games. To get more specific, South Carolina has been involved in seven games this season where the teams were within 10 points of each other in the final five minutes – at UC Davis, NC State, LSU, Florida, at Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. In those seven games, in which they are 5-2, the Gamecocks have shot 80.0 percent from the free throw line. Most recently, South Carolina was a perfect 8-of-8 from the stripe as it nursed a four-point lead at the 5:00 mark to a nine-point victory over No. 20/24 Georgia. Junior guard La’Keisha Sutton accounted for half of those free throws.

Boost from the Bench
The South Carolina bench has outscored that of its opponent 13 times in 21 games this season, and the Gamecocks are 10-3 in those outings. South Carolina is 2-6 in games in which the opponent’s bench scores the same or more points. On the season, the South Carolina bench is outscoring its counterparts by 4.8 points per game. The Gamecock reserves have outscored their peers by 20 or more points four times (Savannah State, NC State, South Carolina State, #20/24 Georgia) with the season’s largest differential of 34 points coming against South Carolina State (Dec. 30).

Help Thy Neighbor
With arguably the best point guard in international women’s basketball history at the helm, South Carolina has been at its best when its assist numbers are highest. In the Dawn Staley era (2008-09 through present), the Gamecocks are 27-13 when handing out 10 or more assists, including n 11-3 mark this season. When missing the 10-assist plateau, South Carolina is just 9-29 overall, including a 2-18 mark in SEC action. Those records include this season’s 1-6 overall slate and 0-3 ledger in league play.

Heavenly at 70, Successful at 60
The Gamecocks are 9-2 this season when scoring at least 60 points, including a perfect 3-0 mark when reaching the 70-point plateau. South Carolina is 3-7 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 10-28 when falling short of the 60-point mark and is 12-11 when scoring between 60 and 69 points.

De-Fense, De-Fense
The South Carolina defense has held 19 of its last 20 opponents below their season scoring averages, against whom the Gamecocks are 12-7. Only Stanford managed to reach its average, scoring 70 points on the Gamecock defense after entering the game with a 69.7 points per game mark. On average, South Carolina has held its opponents 12.1 points below their season average entering the game (excludes season opener against Xavier).

Be Aggressive, B-E Aggressive
Since head coach Dawn Staley took the reins prior to the 2008-09 season, the Gamecocks have been most successful when they are aggressive on the offensive end. Under Staley, South Carolina is 26-19 when it attempts more free throws than 3-poiners, including a 7-4 mark this season. In the last three seasons, the Gamecocks are 24-14 when attempting more free throws than their opponent, including a 10-4 mark this season.

Newton’s Law
Redshirt junior Courtney Newton worked her way into the starting lineup at Ole Miss with smart, gritty play. The change in vantage point paid immediate dividends (Newton hit her first 3-pointers of the season against the Rebels), and the Flowery Branch, Ga., native’s confidence has been building ever since. Put into the lineup for her commitment to defense and sound knowledge of the game plan, Newton’s offensive contributions reached a crescendo against #20/24 Georgia (Jan. 27). She buried all five of her 3-point attempts and led the team with 16 points, one shy of her career high set back on Nov. 17, 2007, in her true freshman year. A well-chronicled warrior who has recovered from myriad lower body surgeries (knee, hip), Newton netted her 3s at the most critical times of the game – including her third one that put South Carolina on top for good at 34-31 five minutes into the second half and the fourth that stretched the Gamecock lead after the Lady Bulldogs had pulled within two with six minutes to play.

She’s a Jewel
Senior forward Jewel May has spent a career doing the “little things” that coaches love but that don’t necessarily show up in box scores. While still filling that bill, May has pounded her name into the box score the last two weeks, including games against some lofty-reputationed frontcourts (at #19/19 Kentucky, vs. #5/6 Tennessee). Averaging a team-high 7.0 rebounds over the last five 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 then snagged a season-best 11 rebounds against Alabama as part of her first double-double (11 points) of the season. Three of her five boards against #20/24 Georgia came on the offensive end.

Walking on Sunshine
Sophomore Ieasia Walker ranks among the SEC’s top-10 scorers in league play, netting 14.4 points per game. The hot-shooting guard has three 20-point games among her eight league outings and has missed the 10-point plateau just once during the stretch. The beauty of Walker’s game is that it has not been one-dimensional. Her 4.8 rebounds per SEC game are third-highest on the team, and she has pulled down a team-best 8.0 caroms per game over the last four 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 third 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 this season, especially since the start of SEC action. Averaging in 9.8 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 (4.0) and is eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1). Through eight SEC games, Sutton accounts for 19.4 points per game via her own scoring (9.8 ppg) and her assists (9.6 ppg). That’s 33.7 percent of the team’s total scoring (57.5 ppg). Overall this season, Sutton is second on the team and 28th in the SEC in scoring at 9.8 points per game. Her 3.9 assists per game are good for sixth in the league, and she has a 1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio to rank 11th. She has scored in double figures 10 times this season, including five SEC contests, and has handed out four or more assists 12 times, including four league outings. Sutton’s 40.5 field goal percentage is the highest among the team’s guards.