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Jan. 9, 2015


COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina travels to Ole Miss on Saturday, continuing Southeastern Conference play vs. the Rebels. The Gamecocks most recently suffered a loss to Florida in the SEC opener on Wednesday in Columbia, which broke a seven-game win streak for Carolina. Ole Miss lost its league opener in overtime at top-ranked Kentucky last Tuesday. Saturday’s matchup will be televised on FSN with Pete Pranica and Sean Tuohy on the call.

Game Date: Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015
Game Time: 5 p.m. ET
Arena: C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum (8,867)
Broadcast: FSN/ESPN3
Talent: Pete Pranica (pxp), Sean Tuohy (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: N/A; XM: N/A
Series: Ole Miss leads 17-15
Last Meeting: 75-71 Ole Miss win on Feb. 1, 2014, in Oxford, Miss.

| Tickets | Game Notes | @GamecockMBB | ESPN3

– South Carolina is in its 107th season of varsity basketball in 2014-15.
– The Gamecocks are led by third-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Matt Figger, his assistant coaches are Perry Clark and Lamont Evans, and his director of operations is Andy Assaley.
– South Carolina is receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Top 25 Polls this week (Jan. 5 polls). It marks the first time that Carolina has received votes in the AP Poll since Jan. 2009, and the first time with votes in the Coaches Poll since March 2006.
– South Carolina suffered a 72-68 loss to visiting Florida on Wednesday in the SEC opener for both schools in Columbia. The Gamecocks had just one in double figures, with senior guard Ty Johnson posting 20 points. Carolina made just eight baskets in the second half, however, the Gamecocks hit 23-of-27 from the foul line (85.2%) in the contest.
– The loss to Florida snapped a seven-game South Carolina win streak. That streak was the longest for the Gamecocks since the opening of the 2003-04 campaign when Carolina won eight straight.
– South Carolina has only won once in 12 tries against the Rebels in Oxford. That was an 80-77 win on Feb. 2, 2008.
– South Carolina upset No. 9/9 Iowa State on Jan. 3 in a neutral site matchup vs. the Cyclones at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Sophomore guard Duane Notice led three Gamecocks in double figures with 15 points, while senior guard Ty Johnson and sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell posted 13 apiece. Thornwell notched six of those points in the final two minutes of the game, also collecting his lone steal of the contest to seal the win for Carolina.
– The Gamecocks, then-ranked fourth in the nation in opponent field goal percentage, held Iowa State to just 35.1 percent (20-57) from the field, which was 15 points below their average entering the game at 50.6 percent.
– Carolina and Iowa State combined for just three made 3s in the contest at the Barclays Center, with the Cyclones hitting just one – well below their season average of 8.7 made 3s per game entering the matchup.
– The Gamecocks are in their 24th season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2015. Carolina owns a 138-235 (.369) all-time record in SEC play.
– Frank Martin owns a 59-60 (.495) all-time record in conference games.
– In the Jan. 8 NCAA RPI rankings, the Gamecocks rank 119.

South Carolina is receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Top 25 Polls this week after their 9-3 non-conference record, capped by an upset win over No. 9/9 Iowa State last Saturday. The Gamecocks appear in the AP poll votes for the first time since Jan. 2009, and in the Coaches poll votes for the first time since March 2006.

The Rebels nearly defeated top-ranked Kentucky in their SEC opener on Tuesday in Lexington, taking the Wildcats to overtime. Junior guard Stefan Moody led the squad vs. the Wildcats and paces four Rebels averaging double-figures with 14.7 points per outing. He had 25 points vs. Kentucky before sidelined with cramps in his leg. Senior guard Jarvis Summers adds 14.0 points and a team-leading 3.8 assists per game, and senior forward LaDarius White provides 12.6 points per outing. The Rebels have lost two of their last three games entering Saturday’s matchup, having lost on the road at Dayton on Dec. 30, before concluding non-conference play with a victory over Austin Peay on Jan. 3. Ole Miss has key victories over Cincinnati and at Oregon, but has suffered losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky also this season. Head Coach Andy Kennedy is in his ninth season in Oxford. Ole Miss leads the nation in free throw percentage, hitting an impressive 78.9 percent from the charity stripe.

Ole Miss owns a 17-15 upperhand in the all-time series with the Gamecocks and has won four of the last five meetings, including two contests last season. The Rebels own an 11-1 mark in games played in Oxford.

Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell was named SEC Player of the Week on Jan. 5 after averaging 12 points, 6.5 rebounds and two assists as the Gamecocks downed North Carolina A&T and No. 9 Iowa State. It is the first conference player of the week honor for the Lancaster, S.C., native. He earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors three times last season. Thornwell opened the week posting 11 points, five rebounds and two steals, while matching a season high with four assists, and a career high with two blocks vs. North Carolina A&T. He followed that up with 13 points and eight rebounds against No. 9 Iowa State in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Of those 13 points, ten would come in the second half, including six points in the final two minutes and a key steal to seal the win with 12 seconds left and the Cyclones looking to tie the game down 63-60. The win was Carolina’s first over a top-10 opponent since 2010.

-14 – Florida out-rebounded South Carolina by 14 on Wednesday. It was the biggest deficit in the category for the Gamecocks this season.
+7.4 – Despite the rebounding numbers vs. Florida, the Gamecocks rank second in the SEC and 25th nationally with a +7.4 rebound margin.
9-9 – South Carolina senior guard Tyrone Johnson went a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line vs. Florida, the nine made free throws marked a career high for the Plainfield, N.J., native. His perfect mark was the best percentage by an individual in the SEC this season.
2.8 – Three different Gamecocks average at least 2.8 assists per game, as Notice (2.8), Johnson (3.8) and Stroman (4.2) all hit the mark.
22 – Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell averaged 22.0 points in two games last season vs. Ole Miss. Thornwell posted 24 in the home matchup vs. the Rebels, and posted 20 just two weeks later in the contest in Oxford. He also pulled down 11 rebounds, dished four assists and blocked two shots in the game in Columbia.

Freshman forward Shamiek Sheppard made his collegiate debut on Dec. 30 vs. North Carolina A&T, after missing the first 10 games of the season due to a knee injury suffered this summer which required surgery. Sheppard battled through the rehab process and was nearly a month ahead of his projected schedule for return. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native played in his second collegiate game at the Barclays Center in Carolina’s upset win over No. 9/9 Iowa State on Jan. 3, scoring two points and collecting two rebounds.

South Carolina returns to Columbia to host Alabama on Tuesday, Jan. 13, in a contest set to tip at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The Crimson Tide holds a 24-14 upperhand in the all-time series with the Gamecocks, but South Carolina won last season’s meeting between the two schools 67-66 on Feb. 15, 2014. South Carolina is 10-6 all-time in home games vs. Alabama.