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Feb. 19, 2011

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Game Information

Date: Sunday, February 20, 2011
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
TV: FSN (Dave Baker and Christy Winters-Scott)
Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller and Marcy Girton);
Live Stats:
Tickets: $7 General Admission
Auburn Series: Auburn leads 20-14; In Columbia: SC leads 8-7; In Auburn: Auburn leads 11-5; At Neutral Site: Auburn leads 2-1

South Carolina Notables


  • Nine of the 12 players on South Carolina’s roster have scored 10 or more points at least once this season. Four of those players have done it eight or more times.
  • South Carolina’s 15.9 turnovers per game are the lowest since the 1995-96 squad turned it over just 15.7 times per game. The Gamecocks’ current average is 55th-lowest in the nation and second-best in the SEC.
  • In SEC play, junior guard La’Keisha Sutton’s scoring and assists have generated 32.3 percent of the team’s points – 9.7 ppg by her and 9.2 ppg by teammates from her assists.
  • In SEC games, sophomore guard Ieasia Walker is ranked among the league’s top five in points per game (4th, 14.4) and steals per game (3rd, 2.8). She is one of just four players to rank in the top 10 in both categories.
  • Through games of Feb. 17, South Carolina’s strength of schedule is ranked 18th in the nation. In the SEC, only Tennessee (4) is rated higher. Through games of Feb. 13, the Gamecocks had an RPI of 48, which is sixth-highest in the league, trailing Tennessee (3), Kentucky (18), Vanderbilt (24), Georgia (34) and LSU (45).


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be its eighth SEC win of the season, the program’s most since the 2002-03 squad finished 9-5 in league play.
  • Be its 13th home win, the most since the 2005-06 team collected 15 victories at Colonial Life Arena.

By the Numbers
1 Gamecocks who have started every game this season – Jewel May
3 Free throws made by junior forward Charenee Stephens in four attempts in the final 46 seconds to help seal the comeback win at Mississippi State, exceeding her 56.0 percent accuracy over the course of this season
5 SEC games in which South Carolina’s defense has yielded more than 60 points in regulation time – Georgia 61 (Jan. 2), LSU 61 (Jan. 6), Tennessee 71 (Jan. 20), Kentucky 61 (Feb. 10) and Tennessee (Feb. 17)
8.7 Points per game by junior guard Markeshia Grant over the last seven games, nearly double her 4.7 average over the first six SEC games
19 Games in which sophomore guard Ieasia Walker has scored 10 or more points (during which the Gamecocks are 12-7), including 12 of 13 SEC games
23 Games in which the Gamecocks have held their opponent below its scoring average, during which South Carolina has a 15-8 record
15.9 Turnovers per game by the Gamecocks, who rank 55th (fewest) in the nation and second in the SEC (behind LSU’s 14.5) in the category
18.8 Points per SEC game generated by junior guard La’Keisha Sutton – 9.7 ppg scored plus 9.2 ppg scored off her assists
.529 Field goal percentage of junior guard La’Keisha Sutton during the last two minutes of games this season, the highest on the team, during which she also has scored the most points (33)
.736 South Carolina’s free throw percentage in the last two minutes of games this season, compared to its .606 percentage prior to that

The Auburn Series
The Tigers lead the series 20-14, including a 54-47 victory on their homecourt earlier this season. Ashley Bruner led the Gamecocks in that contest with 15 points and eight rebounds, but last miscues cost South Carolina its second-straight win in Auburn. Last season, South Carolina kicked off the home-and-home series with a convincing 63-49 decision in Columbia on Jan. 17 then closed its first sweep of the Tigers since 2001 with a 61-58 win at Auburn on Feb. 4. South Carolina senior Valerie Nainima has been the most productive Gamecock against Auburn as she averages 14.0 points in her three games against the Tigers.

Home Sweet Home
South Carolina has won 69.5 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 335-147 mark includes a 91-50 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 12-3 at home this season.

Figuring Out February
The Gamecocks are 175-134 (.566) all-time in the month of February, including a 99-37 (.728) record at home. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 7-11 in the second month of the year. The Gamecocks went 1-5 in Staley’s first year at the helm (2008-09), were 3-5 last season and are 3-1 so far this February.

Five for Fighting
After a non-conference season that saw just one game decided by 10 or fewer points, South Carolina has experienced much tighter games in SEC play. In fact, the closer the better for the Gamecocks who are 4-1 in SEC games decided by five or fewer points, compared to just 3-5 in league games settled by six or more points. In the Dawn Staley era (2008-09 to present), the Gamecocks are 12-11 in five-point or closer games (4-1 this season), 9-10 when the scoring margin is between six and 10 points (2-3 this season), 14-15 in games decided by 11 to 20 points (7-3 this season), and 4-8 in games settled by more than 20 points (2-4 this season).

They’re Free, But They Sure Do Count
South Carolina may rank 11th in the SEC in free throw percentage, but the Gamecocks have proven they can deliver when it counts the most. Hitting 63.0 percent from the charity stripe overall, South Carolina has shot 67.6 percent from the line in the final five minutes of the game. That number goes up further to 73.6 percent in the final two minutes. To get more specific, South Carolina has been involved in 11 games this season in which the teams were within 10 points of each other in the final five minutes – at UC Davis, NC State, LSU, Florida, at Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, at Arkansas, against Kentucky and at Mississippi State. In those 11 games, during which they are 8-3, the Gamecocks have shot 74.6 percent (53-71) from the free throw line.

Three, It’s a Magic Number
As Schoolhouse Rock professed many years ago, three appears to be a magical number for the Gamecocks, who are 9-2 this season when three players score double figures. That record includes a 4-1 mark in SEC action and improves to 11-2 when expanded to include games with more than three players in double figures. On the other side, South Carolina is just 4-9 when fewer than three players reach the 10-point plateau. Regular members of the triumverate are the Gamecocks’ leading scorers – Ieasia Walker and La’Keisha Sutton – who account for one of the double-figure scorers in each of the 13 games with three or more 10-point contributors. In fact, both names appear on the list in seven of the 13 games. An impressive part of the stat is that five different players have completed the group for those seven outings – Marah Strickland (4), Ashley Bruner (2), Markeshia Grant (2), Charenee Stephens (1) and Valerie Nainima (1).

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 28-15 when handing out 10 or more assists, including a 12-5 mark this season. When missing the 10-assist plateau, South Carolina is just 11-29 overall with Staley, including a 4-18 mark in SEC action. Those records include this season’s 3-6 overall slate and 2-3 ledger in league play.

Heavenly at 70, Successful at 60
The Gamecocks are 12-3 this season when scoring at least 60 points, including a perfect 3-0 mark when reaching the 70-point plateau. South Carolina is 3-8 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 10-29 when falling short of the 60-point mark and is 15-12 when scoring between 60 and 69 points.

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 28-19 when it attempts more free throws than 3-poiners, including a 9-4 mark this season. In the last three seasons, the Gamecocks are 27-14 when attempting more free throws than their opponent, including a 13-4 mark this season.

Time and a Half
The Gamecocks have played two overtime games this season, the second-straight season the program has logged multiple OT contests. Prior to the 2009-10 season, South Carolina had not played multiple OT games in a season since the 1995-96 squad logged extra time in four contests, putting up a 1-3 record in those games. Under head coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks are 3-1 in overtime contests, including a 2-0 mark this season.