Jan. 16, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina continues SEC play when it travels to face Auburn on Saturday in its second road contest of league play in 2015. The Gamecocks won the most recent meeting between the two schools, a 74-56 victory in the opening round of the 2014 SEC Tournament last March. Saturday’s contest will be televised on the SEC Network with Tom Hart (pxp) and Joe Dean Jr. (analyst), on the call.
Game Date: Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015
Game Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Arena: Auburn Arena (9,121)
Broadcast: SEC Network/WatchESPN
Talent: Tom Hart (pxp), Joe Dean Jr. (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: N/A; XM: N/A
Series: Auburn leads 22-15
Last Meeting: 74-56 Carolina win on March 12, 2014 in Atlanta, Ga. (2014 SEC Tournament)
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– 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.
– Carolina snapped a brief two-game losing streak on Tuesday when it posted a 68-66 win over visiting Alabama at Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina survived shooting slumps at both the beginning and end of the contest, and the Crimson Tide missed a game-winning 3 attempt at the buzzer. Senior guard Tyrone Johnson led Carolina for the third-straight game with 13 points, while junior forwards Mindaugas Kacinas and Michael Carrera chipped in 10 and 12 points, respectively. The duo each pulled down a team high eight rebounds as well.
– The Gamecocks enter Saturday’s matchup with an RPI of 95. South Carolina has victories this season over three teams in the top 50 of the RPI in Iowa State (24), Oklahoma State (28) and Alabama (44).
– The Gamecocks haven’t won at Auburn since the 2010 SEC season, but Carolina had won the previous three meetings in Auburn between the two schools.
– South Carolina suffered its second loss of the SEC season on Jan. 10, falling on the road to Ole Miss, 65-49. The Gamecocks struggled on both ends of the floor, hitting just 18-of-49, including a 4-of-20 mark from 3-point range. Ole Miss wasn’t much better from the floor, however, they hit 50% from beyond the arc and 81.8% at the free throw line.
– The Gamecocks are in their 24th season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2015. Carolina owns a 139-236 (.370) all-time record in SEC play.
– Frank Martin owns a 60-61 (.495) all-time record in conference games.
– South Carolina suffered a 72-68 loss to visiting Florida on Jan. 7 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.
Auburn enters Saturday’s matchup on a short turnaround after suffering a 75-55 loss at Florida in league play on Thursday night. The Tigers are 9-7 overall on the season and 1-2 in league play. They also hold an 8-1 record in home games, with their only loss coming against Coastal Carolina in early December. Their SEC victory game at home against a struggling Missouri team, and they suffered a loss at Vanderbilt in their conference opener. Senior guard KT Harrell leads the team with 16.4 points per game. Junior forward Cinmeon Bowers not only paces the team, but also the SEC and ranks sixth nationally with 11.3 rebounds per outing, including 3.9 offensive boards per game (also leads the league and ranks ninth nationally). Grad student K.C. Ross-Miller, the transfer from New Mexico State, paces the team with 2.3 steals per game, which ranks second in the SEC and 37th nationally. Auburn is led by head coach Bruce Pearl in his first season with the Tigers and his 20th season overall. He also coached at Tennessee and Milwaukee. Pearl owns a 12-2 record all-time against the Gamecocks.
Auburn holds a 22-15 upperhand in the all-time series vs. the Gamecocks, including a 9-7 advantage in games played in Auburn. The team’s met three times last season, twice during the regular season and once in the SEC Tournament. The Tigers collected both regular-season victories, but the Gamecocks snapped a five-game Auburn win streak with a deciding 74-56 victory in Tournament play.
BY THE #’S
+10 – After being out-rebounded by both of its first two SEC opponents, the Gamecocks were deadly on the glass vs. Alabama, out-rebounding the Crimson Tide by 10. For the season, South Carolina holds a +7.0 rebound margin, which ranks second in the SEC to only Kentucky, and 26th nationally.
21.7 – The South Carolina bench out-scored its Alabama counterparts by 11 in Tuesday’s home victory. For the season, the Carolina bench is averaging 21.7 points per outing. Junior forward Mindaugas Kacinas leads the way, having led Carolina in bench points eight times this season.
14-16 – Senior guard Tyrone Johnson leads Carolina with 15.3 points per game during SEC play. He has been near perfect at the charity stripe, hitting 14-of-16 attempts in league play.
63.0 – The Gamecocks have played just two true road games this season, averaging 63.0 points per game in those contests, compared to 62.0 points per game from its opponents.
18.0 – Sophomore guard Duane Notice is averaging 18.0 points per game in road games this season.
10-5 – South Carolina has out-scored its opponents in fast-break points each game this season, including out-scoring Alabama 9-4 in the category. For the year, Carolina averages 10.6 fast-break points per outing.
31-20 – Under the direction of head coach Frank Martin, South Carolina is 31-20 in games in which it out-rebounds its opponent.
4th – South Carolina ranks fourth in the SEC in average home attendance, as an average of 10,695 fans attend Carolina home games this season.
South Carolina returns home to host Tennessee on Tuesday. The matchup will tip at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Tennessee leads the all-time series vs. the Gamecocks 40-23, but Carolina holds a slight 14-13 edge in games played in Columbia. South Carolina looks for its first victory over the Volunteers since the 2007 campaign.