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Dec. 3, 2014


South Carolina Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Promotions | Buy Tickets | Parking Information

Game Information

Date: Thursday, December 4, 2014 | 8 p.m.
Site: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Tickets: $7 adult, $4 youth (17 and under)
Broadcast: SEC Network (Brenda VanLengen pxp, Carol Ross, analyst); online via WatchESPN
Radio: 107.5 The Game (Brad Muller);
Live Stats:
Series History: SC leads 17-6

South Carolina Notables

  • Head coach Dawn Staley is going for her 300th career win tonight.
  • After putting three different starting lineups on the floor in the first three games of the season, Staley has sent the same lineup out of the last three games – Alaina Coates, Elem Ibiam, Aleighsa Welch, Tiffany Mitchell and Khadijah Sessions.
  • South Carolina’s bench has accounted for 37.3 of the team’s 80.3 points per game this season. In fact, the Gamecock bench is rivaling its opponents’ total scoring as South Carolina is third in the nation in scoring defense at 45.5 points per game.
  • With four Gamecocks standing at least 6-foot-4, South Carolina has scored 228 points (38.0 per game) in the paint this season, accounting for 47.3 percent of its total scoring. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks 25th in the national in 3-point field goal shooting, hitting an SEC-best 39.0 percent from outside the arc while averaging 6.5 made 3s per game to rank fourth in the league.
  • South Carolina also leads the SEC in assists per game at 21.3, which ranks fourth in the nation. The Gamecocks have assisted on 128 of their 180 made field goals (71.1%). The team has done a great job protecting the ball as well and leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.0 (128:64).
  • Defense is still a focal point for the Gamecocks, not allowing an opponent to reach the 65-point mark this season to rank third in the nation in scoring defense (45.5 ppg). In fact, in the last four seasons, South Carolina has yielded 70 or more points just seven times in 108 outings. An opponent has failed to cross the 60-point barrier in 78 of the 108 contests beginning with the 2010-11 season.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Be the Gamecocks’ 23rd straight at home.
  • Be head coach Dawn Staley’s 300th of her career.
  • Make the Gamecocks 7-0 for the third-straight season, aiming to rival Staley-era best of 10-0 in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

By the Numbers
National rank in assist-to-turnover ratio for both South Carolina (2.0) and junior Khadijah Sessions’ (11.0), who has committed just two turnovers in 113 minutes of play
2 Double-doubles by Alaina Coates this season
3 Games in which South Carolina has handed out at least 25 assists, including Staley-era record of 26 against NC Central, to help team to fourth in the nation in assists per game (21.3)
3 Games in which the Gamecocks have not allowed an opposing player to score in double-figures – Clemson, San Diego State, NC Central
3 Games in which South Carolina has drawn over 10,000 fans at Colonial Life Arena this season – there have been only four total in the nation
4 National rank for the Gamecocks in fewest turnovers per game (10.7), despite opening season with 19 against Southern Cal
5 Stats in which South Carolina is among the nation’s top five teams – assist-to-turnover ratio (1st, 2.0), scoring defense (3rd, 45.5), scoring margin (3rd, 34.8), assists per game (4th, 21.3) and field goal percentage defense (6th, .309)
8 Gamecocks who are at least 6′ tall, including four who are 6’4″ or taller
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
40 Rebounds needed for senior forward Aleighsa Welch to move into a tie for 10th in career rebounds in school history
46.5 Percent of this season’s scoring that has come from the bench (224 of 482)

Charlotte Series Notes
The Gamecocks lead this series 17-6, including a 3-1 record in the Dawn Staley era. The 49ers won the last meeting at Colonial Life Arena, though, taking home a 69-57 win in the second round of the Women’s NIT on March 20, 2011. South Carolina claimed the most recent meeting 76-61 on Dec. 8, 2013, in Charlotte. Four Gamecocks were in double figures, including Aleighs Welch who scored all 18 of her points in the second half after playing just six minutes in the first due to foul trouble. The 49ers trailed by just one point against the then-No. 12/10 Gamecocks, who then out-scored Charlotte 43-29 in the second half.

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Home Sweet Home
The Gamecocks are in the midst of unprecedented success at Colonial Life Arena, having won their last 22 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.

South Carolina leads the SEC and ranks 16th in the nation with 6.0 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 seniors Elem Ibiam and Aleigsha Welch in third (1.5/game). Sophomore Alaina Coates is eighth at 1.2 per game, and freshman A’ja Wilson adds 1.0 per game for 12th place. While Ibiam and Coates have been established shot blockers throughout their careers, the block is an art that Welch 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.

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 alignment – the 3-point shot. The Gamecocks lead the SEC and are 25th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 39.0 percent from outside the arc. After closing last season averaging 3.9 made 3s per game, South Carolina is off to a blistering 6.5 average this season, which ranks fourth 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 has out-scored its starting counterparts twice this season and has out-scored the entire opposing team three times as well – Clemson (Nov. 20), San Diego State (Nov. 23) and NC Central (Dec. 1). In all, the bench as accounted for 46.5 percent of the Gamecocks’ points this season. Of the 21 double-figures games turned in so far this season, 12 of them have come from the bench – A’ja Wilson (5), Bianca Cuevas (2), Jatarie White (2), Alaina Coates (1), Asia Dozier (1) and Tina Roy (1). The production has come with just slightly fewer minutes on the floor – 18.3 per reserve per game compared to 21.7 per starter per game.

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 fourth in the nation with 21.3 assists per game this season, including three games of at least 25 assists each. The team’s 26 assists against NC Central (Dec. 1) broke the Dawn Staley-era record of 25. In all, South Carolina has assisted on 128 of its 180 made field goals this season (.711). Last season’s team set the mark for best percentage of the Staley era at 57.7 percent.