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Dec. 6, 2013

South Carolina Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Tiffany Mitchell

Game Information

Opponent: Charlotte
Date: Sunday, December 8, 2013, 2 p.m.
Site: Charlotte, N.C.
Arena: Halton Arena (9,105)
Tickets: $5 adult, free for youth (17 and under)
TV: None
Radio: WNKT 107.5 FM/WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller);
Live Video: (Login Required)
Live Stats:
Series History: SC leads 16-6

South Carolina Notables

  • South Carolina leads the SEC in field goal percentage (.507), rebounding margin (+13.4), scoring margin (+34.4), blocks per game (6.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6). The Gamecocks are among the top 15 in the nation in each category as well.
  • South Carolina has scored 40.3 points per game in the paint – just over half of its 80.1 scoring average, which ranks among the top 40 in the nation.
  • The top three individual field goal percentages in the SEC all belong to Gamecocks – Aleighsa Welch (.714), Alaina Coates (.656) and Tiffany Mitchell (.581).
  • With 25 offensive rebounds so far this season, junior Aleighsa Welch has moved into sixth place in school history with 260 career offensive boards, just 14 away from a spot in the top five.
  • Sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell is the only Gamecock to score in double figures every game this season, but it is the last four games that have catapulted her up the SEC standings. In the last four games, as opponents have sagged to contain the Gamecock post players, Mitchell averaged 18.0 points on 65.8 percent shooting, including 50.0 percent from 3-point range, and 77.3 percent from the free throw line, while pulling down 4.5 rebounds, handing out 4.8 assists and swiping 3.3 steals per game during the stretch. In the first four games, Mitchell contributed 12.0 ppg on 50.0 percent shooting and 43.8 free-throw shooting, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.8 spg.
  • Center Alaina Coates is the third-highest scoring freshman in the SEC (18th overall), while getting fewer minutes than the two first-year players ahead of her. Coates scores one point every 1.4 minutes she is on the floor. LSU’s Raigyne Moncrief comes in at one point every 1.6 minutes (14.5 ppg), and Arkansas’ Jessica Jackson is adding one point every 2.0 minutes of court time.
  • Sophomore guard Khadijah Sessions is third in the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6). She has handed out five or more assists four times this season, including a career-high six in just 20 minutes against NC Central (Dec. 2). On the other side, Sessions has turned the ball over two more times in just two games this season.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be the Gamecocks’ ninth straight to open the season, matching last season’s start, which stretched to 10 before a loss to then-No. 1 Stanford.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ fourth in a true road game this season, compared to just one true road win in last season’s 10-game win streak to start the campaign.
  • Bring Staley to 101 in her Gamecock career, tying her with Pam Parsons (1978-82) for third all-time in Gamecock women’s basketball history.

By the Numbers
Gamecock who has scored in double figures in each game this season – Tiffany Mitchell
2 Players in the SEC who have a better assist-to-turnover ration than Khadijah Sessions’ 3.1, which ranks her 38th in the nation
3 Games this season in which five Gamecocks have scored in double figures, which had happened just five previous times in the Dawn Staley era
5 Different Gamecocks who have been the team’s high scorer in a game this season – Alaina Coates (Charleston Southern, at San Diego State), Aleighsa Welch (LA Tech, at Clemson), Asia Dozier (CofC), Elem Ibiam (Seton Hall) and Tiffany Mitchell (at USC, NC Central)
5 Games in which South Carolina has shot at least 50.0 percent from the field this season after reaching the mark just 12 times in the previous five seasons under Staley
7 Opponents who have been held to 55 or fewer points by the Gamecocks this season, helping the Gamecocks rank third in the nation in scoring defense (45.8 ppg)
8 Games in the Dawn Staley era in which the Gamecocks have scored 80 or more points, including four this season
25 Entries for the Gamecocks in the last 35 Associated Press Top 25 Polls
34.4 Points per game by which South Carolina has won its eight games this season to lead the SEC and rank 10th in the nation
64.9 Percent of field goals made this season that have been assisted

Charlotte Series Notes
The Gamecocks lead the series 16-6, although the 49ers won the last meeting 69-57 to end South Carolina’s run in the 2011 WNIT. It was just the second Charlotte win in the last 12 meetings between the two teams. In a series that begin in the 1982-83 season, the Gamecocks are 7-3 in games played in Charlotte with the last meeting coming on Nov. 16, 2009, and ending in a 70-66 overtime win for South Carolina. The 49ers’ last win over the Gamecocks in Charlotte was a 73-60 decision on Feb. 15, 1995.

Five-Second Count
For the first time in her tenure at South Carolina, head coach Dawn’s Staley’s Gamecocks look different – on the court and in the stat sheet. Coming off back-to-back 25-win seasons, Staley was not afraid to change her strategy to fit her personnel. After seasons of building around defense, Staley finally as a group that is designed for offensive efficiency. The Gamecocks are scoring more (80.1 ppg – 4th in SEC, top-40 in nation) and more efficiently (.507 FG %age – 1st in SEC, top-40 in country) than at any time in the Staley era. And, after seasons of talented guards generating their own offense, Staley’s 2013-14 success is predicated on getting the ball inside – three primary post players combine to score 45.7 percent of the team’s points – and on ball movement creating the best shots – 64.9 percent of made field goals have been assisted, ranking the Gamecocks second in the SEC and top-25 in the nation with 18.5 assists per game. Defense is still a staple of the program with the Gamecocks ranking among the nation’s top five in scoring defense, allowing just 45.8 points per game. Only one opponent this season has scored 55 or more points against South Carolina.

December Decisions
In its 40th season of women’s basketball, South Carolina is 156-78 (.667) all-time in the month of December, including a 24-6 record (.800) in the sixth season of the Dawn Staley era. The Gamecocks hold a winning record in all three site possibilities during the month – 94-23 (.803) at home, 33-30 (.524) on the road and 24-23 (.511) at neutral sites.

Road Warriors
With comprehensive records beginning in the 1976-77 season (the third for women’s basketball at South Carolina), the Gamecocks are 198-234 (.458) all-time in games played on the road, including a 29-29 mark (.500) in the Dawn Staley era. The Gamecocks have had winning road records in each of the previous two seasons, combining for a 16-8 record (.667) in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Century Mark for Staley
Head coach Dawn Staley captured her 100th victory at South Carolina on Dec. 2 against NC Central. She is the fourth of the program’s seven all-time head coaches to reach the mark and the fastest to the total (164 games) of the three coaches to lead the team in the SEC era by nearly a full season. South Carolina’s third head coach, Pam Parsons, was the first and the fastest to reach 100 victories, hitting the plateau in her 143rd game at the helm just six games into her fifth season (1981-82). Nancy Wilson was next up, winning her 100th game in her 150th outing late in the 1988-89 season, en route to her school-record 231 Gamecock victories. Susan Walvius was the first head coach to have her entire South Carolina career in the SEC, hitting 100 wins in her 179th game on the sideline five games into her seventh season.