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Dec. 19, 2013

South Carolina Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Game Information

Opponent: Winthrop (6-2)
Date: Friday, December 20, 2013, Noon
Site: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Tickets: $7 adult, $4 youth (17 and under)
TV: None
Radio: WNKT 107.5 FM/WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller);
Live Video:
Live Stats:
Series History: SC leads 6-5

South Carolina Notables

  • Today’s matchup pits head coach Dawn Staley against one of her former WNBA assistant coaches as Winthrop head coach Kevin Cook was on the Houston Comets’ bench during Staley’s time with the team. Staley also coached Winthrop assistant coach Christena Hamilton while at Temple.
  • South Carolina leads the SEC in field goal percentage (.494), blocks per game (6.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4). The Gamecocks are among the top 10 in the nation in each category as well.
  • While guard Tiffany Mitchell is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer, South Carolina’s offense is driven by what happens in the paint. The Gamecocks have scored 40.2 points per game in the paint – more than half of their 78.3 scoring average.
  • With 32 offensive rebounds so far this season, junior Aleighsa Welch has moved into sixth place in school history with 267 career offensive boards, just seven away from tying Demetress Adams (2006-09) for fifth.
  • Sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell is the only Gamecock to score in double figures every game this season, but she has really excelled in the last five games. Starting with the two-game trip to California, the Charlotte native averaged 18.2 points, 3.8 assists and 3.2 steals. In the first four games, Mitchell contributed 12.0 ppg on 50.0 percent shooting, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.8 spg. She has been more aggressive and earned trips to the free throw line as a result, averaging 7.8 free throw attempts per game over the last five games compared to 4.0 over the first four.
  • Junior center Elem Ibiam has re-asserted herself over the last two games, answering her head coach’s challenge to be more of an impact on every game. Ibiam is averaging 16.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in a win at Charlotte and Wednesday night’s loss to North Carolina.
  • Sophomore guard Khadijah Sessions suffered an ankle sprain against North Carolina on Wednesday and will not play today or Sunday, according to head coach Dawn Staley. Her status will be re-evaluated when the team returns from the holiday next week.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Give the Gamecocks a 10-1 record for the second time in as many seasons.
  • Bring Staley to 102 in her Gamecock career, giving her sole possession of third all-time in Gamecock women’s basketball history.

By the Numbers
Players in the SEC who rank among the league’s top 10 in both scoring and rebounding, including junior forward Aleighsa Welch
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, vs. UNC), Asia Dozier (CofC), Elem Ibiam (Seton Hall, Charlotte) and Tiffany Mitchell (at USC, NC Central)
6 Assists handed out by the Gamecocks against North Carolina (Dec. 18), a season low
7 Games this season in which South Carolina has scored at least 50.0 percent of its points in the paint, including scoring 70 of 99 points against Charleston Southern (Nov. 8) inside.
8 Games in the Dawn Staley era in which the Gamecocks have scored 80 or more points, including four this season
16 Points of her 18 total against North Carolina (Nov. 18) that sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell scored in the second half, including stealing an inbounds pass and converting a layup to bring the Gamecocks within two after trailing by 12 at the half

Winthrop Series Notes
The Gamecocks lead the series against Winthrop 6-5 with a perfect 5-0 record in Columbia. The two teams have not met since New Year’s Day 2007 – a 75-30 South Carolina victory. A bulk of the series took place in the 1970s with just three of the games taking place after 1979.

Home Sweet Home
With comprehensive records beginning in the 1976-77 season (the third for women’s basketball at South Carolina), the Gamecocks are 367-155 (.703) all-time in games played at home, including a 122-58 mark (.678) in Colonial Life Arena. In the sixth season with head coach Dawn Staley at the helm, South Carolina is 57-25 (.695) at home, including one game at Carolina Coliseum in the 2012-13 season. The Gamecocks have won 43 of their last 54 games played in Colonial Life Arena.