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Nov. 30, 2014


Coach Staley
Alaina Coates and Elem Ibiam

South Carolina Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Promotions | Tickets

Game Information

Date: Monday, December 1, 2014 | 7 p.m.
Site: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Tickets: $7 adult, $4 youth (17 and under)
Parking: $5, due to 7:30 p.m. event at Koger Center
Broadcast: SEC Network + (Brad Muller pxp, Debbie Antonelli analyst)
Radio: 1320 The Fan (Derek Scott);
Live Stats:
Series History: SC leads 1-0

South Carolina Notables

  • South Carolina’s win over No. 22/22 Syracuse marked the first time the Gamecocks defeated the first ranked team they played in a season since 2002-03 when they topped then-No. 18 Boston College 54-51 on Nov. 30 in Albuquerque, N.M.
  • After putting three different starting lineups on the floor in the first three games of the season, Staley sent the same opening five to floor in both games of the Junkanoo Jam – Alaina Coates, Elem Ibiam, Aleighsa Welch, Tiffany Mitchell and Khadijah Sessions.
  • South Carolina’s bench has accounted for 36.4 of the team’s 78.4 points per game this season. In fact, the Gamecock bench is rivaling its opponents’ total scoring as South Carolina ranks second in the SEC in scoring defense at 49.4 points per game
  • With four Gamecocks standing at least 6-foot-4, South Carolina has scored 34.0 points per game in the paint this season, accounting for 43.4 percent of its total scoring. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks lead the SEC in 3-point field goal shooting, hitting 39.1 percent from outside the arc while averaging 6.8 made 3s per game to rank third in the league.
  • South Carolina also leads the SEC in assists per game at 20.4, which ranks eighth in the nation. The Gamecocks have assisted on 102 of their 145 made field goals (70.3%).
  • Defense is still a focal point for the Gamecocks, not allowing an opponent to reach the 65-point mark this season to rank eighth in the nation in scoring defense (49.4 ppg). In fact, in the last four seasons, South Carolina has yielded 70 or more points just seven times in 107 outings. An opponent has failed to cross the 60-point barrier in 77 of the 107 contests beginning with the 2010-11 season.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be the Gamecocks’ 22nd straight at home.
  • Be bring head coach Dawn Staley within one win of 300 in her career.
  • Make the Gamecocks 6-0 for the third-straight season, aiming to rival Staley-era best of 10-0 in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

By the Numbers
Turnovers per game by the Gamecocks over the last four outings since opening the season with 19 against Southern Cal
9 3-pointers made by the Gamecocks against Syracuse (Nov. 28) and San Diego State (Nov. 23), matching the Staley-era record for 3s in a game, which was previously done seven times in her previous six seasons at the helm
19 Career double-doubles by senior forward Aleighsa Welch, leaving her one shy of tying for 10th in school history – her eight in SEC action are tied for third
20.4 Assists per game this season for the Gamecocks, who have twice matched the Staley-era high of 25 in a game
44 Rebounds needed for senior forward Aleighsa Welch to move into a tie for 10th in career rebounds in school history
46.4 Percent of this season’s scoring that has come from the bench (182 of 392)

NC Central Series Notes
These two teams opened this series on Dec. 2, 2013, with South Carolina posting a 79-27 victory over NC Central. All 11 Gamecocks that got into the game scored at least two points with three finishing in double figures – Alaina Coates, Tiffany Mitchell and Aleighsa Welch. Then-junior Raquel Davis was the lone Eagle in double figures with 14 points. NC Central is the first of three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foes the Gamecocks will take on this season. South Carolina hosts Savannah State on Dec. 14 before traveling to Hampton on Dec. 17.

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Home Sweet Home
The Gamecocks are in the midst of unprecedented success at Colonial Life Arena, having won their last 21 games on their home court, including the first perfect season in 2013-14. That 16-0 mark alone matched the previous record for win streak at the facility, originally set Jan. 20, 2002-Jan. 9, 2003. South Carolina’s last loss at Colonial Life Arena was a 50-48 decision to then-No. 14 Texas A&M on Feb. 10, 2013. Overall, South Carolina is 136-58 (.701) at Colonial Life Arena, including a 70-25 (.737) mark under head coach Dawn Staley. In the now 41-year history of the program, the Gamecocks are 381-155 (.711) in home games.

Offshore Outings
South Carolina returned from the Bahamas Saturday with the Junkanoo Jam Lucaya Division title, marking its third tournament win on international soil under head coach Dawn Staley. Her team swept three games in the 2012 Paradise Jam last season to win the Reef Division of that event. In her first season at South Carolina, Staley led her team to the title at the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic.

South Carolina leads the SEC and ranks 26th in the nation with 5.6 blocked shots per game this season. The effort is a continuation of last season, during with the Gamecocks shattered the school record for blocks in a season by 41, recording 240 over 34 games for a 7.1 average. Four Gamecocks rank among the SEC’s top 15 blockers, led by senior forward Aleigsha Welch with 1.6 per game (8), which puts her in the top 100 in the nation. It is an art the veteran has added to her resume just late last season. After recording 45 blocks in her first two seasons combined, Welch posted 47 last season, 37 of which came in the final three months of the season. Her now 100 career blocks ranks her 10th in program history. Freshman A’ja Wilson and senior Elem Ibiam are tied for ninth in the SEC with 1.2 blocks per game (6), and sophomore Alaina Coates rounds out the quartet in 14th with 1.0 per game (5).

Zone Buster
Since the emergence of Elem Ibiam and the arrival of Alaina Coates last season, South Carolina has been a team feared for its inside presence. That perception got a boost with the addition of Jatarie White and A’ja Wilson this season, and teams have packed into a zone early and often against the Gamecocks. This season, South Carolina’s guards have been effective at capitalizing in on what opposing teams are willing to cede in that defensive scheme – the 3-point shot. The Gamecocks lead the SEC and are 27th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 39.1 percent from outside the arc. After closing last season averaging 3.9 made 3s per game, South Carolina is off to a blistering 3.9 average this season, which ranks third in the SEC.

Bench Marks
While every player wants to be a starter, the Gamecocks have shown that the bench can be just as productive a position. The South Carolina bench as out-scored its starting counterparts twice this season and has out-scored the entire opposing team two times as well – Clemson (Nov. 20) and San Diego State (Nov. 23). In all, the bench as accounted for 46.4 percent of the Gamecocks’ points this season. Of the 19 double-figures games turned in so far this season, 10 of them have come from the bench – A’ja Wilson (4), Bianca Cuevas (2), Jatarie White (2), Alaina Coates (1) and Tina Roy (1). The production has come with just slightly fewer minutes on the floor – 18.2 per reserve per game compared to 21.8 per starter per game.

Crowd Control
With over 7,900 season-ticket holders, the Gamecocks have enjoyed unprecedented support at Colonial Life Arena this season. South Carolina is currently one of two programs in the nation averaging more than 10,000 fans so far this season and rank second in the nation in average attendance. In fact, the attendance for the last two games – 11,012 vs. Clemson and 10,301 vs. San Diego State – are two of the top three most attended games in the nation so far this season. The Gamecocks drew 10,057 fans to their season opener against Southern Cal, the largest crowd for a home opener since the opening game at Colonial Life Arena drew 17,712. South Carolina women’s basketball has logged seven crowds of over 10,000 fans in Colonial Life Arena history, six of which have come in the last three seasons, including all three home games so far this season.

Helping Hand
South Carolina has shown good ball movement and ability to find the best shot available so far this season. The Gamecocks lead the SEC and rank eighth in the nation with 20.4 assists per game this season, including two games of 25 assists each. In all, South Carolina has assisted on 102 or its 145 made field goals this season (.703). Last season’s team set the mark for best percentage of the Dawn Staley era at 57.7 percent.