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Jan. 30, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina hosts Georgia on Saturday in the first of two matchups between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs this season. The Gamecocks aim to snap a five-game winless streak, while the Bulldogs have won five straight, including two consecutive on the road. Saturday’s matchup will be broadcast on ESPNU with Mike Morgan and Cory Alexander on the call.

Game Date: Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015
Game Time: 4 p.m. ET
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Broadcast: ESPNU/WatchESPN
Talent: Mike Morgan (pxp), Cory Alexander (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: 119; XM: 190
Series: Georgia leads 54-48
Last Meeting: 73-56 Georgia win on Feb. 22, 2014 in Columbia, S.C.

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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.
– South Carolina was in a back-and-forth battle on the road at LSU on Wednesday, but the home team was able to secure a 64-58 victory in Baton Rouge, using key free throws from Jordan Mickey and Tim Quarterman in the final 19 seconds to seal the win. The Gamecocks struggled offensively, hitting just 34.4 percent (21-61) from the field, however, Carolina hit seven 3s in the contest. Mickey and Jarell Martin blocked six shots each for the Tigers.
– Junior forward Michael Carrera led the Gamecocks with 10 rebounds at LSU, marking his first double-figure rebounding game of the season. Carrera has led Carolina in rebounding in each of the last three games, collecting nine each vs. Tennessee and Kentucky, followed by his 10 at LSU. He is averaging 6.6 rebounds per game in league play, which ranks 10th in the league.
– South Carolina is 30-18 all-time vs. Georgia in games played in Columbia.
– Last season vs. Georgia, then-rookie Sindarius Thornwell put together two of his top performances of SEC play, scoring 26 points in the first matchup vs. the Bulldogs in Athens, followed by an 18-point effort in Columbia. Thornwell was a combined 19-of-24 from the charity stripe in those games.
– Sophomore forward Demetrius Henry and sophomore guard Justin McKie did not play at LSU due to concussions.
– South Carolina suffered a 58-43 loss to visiting No. 1 Kentucky on Jan. 24 at Colonial Life Arena. In front of its first sellout since the 2011 campaign, the Gamecocks battled, out-rebounding the Wildcats 40-28, including an 18-3 margin on the offensive glass, but a poor shooting performance (12-53, 22.6%) from Carolina, saw UK claim the win. Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell led Carolina in scoring for the second straight game with 14 points, and junior forward Michael Carrera pulled down a game high nine rebounds, including five offensive.
– The Gamecocks are in their 24th season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2015. Carolina owns a 139-240 (.367) all-time record in SEC play.
– Frank Martin owns a 60-65 (.480) all-time record in conference games.

Georgia enters Saturday’s game with a 14-5 overall record and a 5-2 mark in league games. The Bulldogs are in a four-way tie for second place in league standings with Arkansas, LSU and Texas A&M. UGA is 4-2 this season in road games, including 2-1 in SEC road games. Five different Georgia players average double-figures on the season with senior Marcus Thornton leading the way with 13.5 points per game and a team high 7.3 rebounds per outing. Junior Kenny Gaines (11.9), junior Charles Mann (11.2), senior Nemanja Djurisic (10.9) and sophomore J.J. Frazier (10.7) all contribute double figures as well. That group is the projected starting five for the Bulldogs on Saturday. Georgia has won five-straight contests entering Saturday’s game, including most recently posting a 70-62 home win over Vandy to sweep the season series vs. the Commodores. During their five-game win streak, UGA has posted road wins at Vandy and Mississippi State. Georgia leads the SEC in league games with a 46.0 percentage from the field. Mark Fox is in his sixth season leading the Bulldogs, he looks for his 100th career win at UGA on Saturday.

Georgia leads the all-time series with South Carolina 54-48, but the Gamecocks hold a 30-18 advantage in games played in Columbia. The Bulldogs have won five-straight in the series entering Saturday’s game. South Carolina’s last win in the series was a 57-56 home victory on Feb. 12, 2012. UGA posted a 73-56 win in Columbia last season behind 27 points from then-sophomore Kenny Gaines.

32.0 – For just the third time this season an opponent scored more points in the paint than South Carolina, as LSU posted 30 points in the paint compared to Carolina’s 22. South Carolina averages 32.0 points in the paint this season, compared to 21.1 points in the paint from its opponents.
7th – Sophomore guard Duane Notice led the Gamecocks in scoring at LSU with 12 points. It marked the seventh time this season that Notice has led Carolina in scoring.
14 – Rookie guard Shamiek Sheppard played a season high 14 minutes at LSU, scoring two points, collecting two rebounds, and collecting one steal and one block.
4th – South Carolina ranks fourth in the SEC in average home attendance, as an average of 11,451 fans attend Carolina home games this season.
3rd – South Carolina ranks third in scoring defense in the SEC (overall games), as opponents average just 61.0 points per game.
3rd – The Gamecocks rank third in the SEC (overall games) in free throw percent, hitting 72.6 percent at the charity stripe this season.
73.5% – In league games this season, South Carolina ranks 2nd in the SEC in free throw percent, hitting 73.5% from the charity stripe. Ty Johnson ranks 2nd in the league in SEC games hitting 91.3% (21-23).
20-23 – Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell has hit 20-of-23 attempts from the free throw line in the last three games. He leads the Gamecocks with 14.0 points per game over the stretch.
31-23 – Under the direction of Frank Martin, South Carolina is 31-23 in games in which it out-rebounds its opponent, including a 9-6 mark this season.

South Carolina will play its next two games on the road, beginning with a matchup next Tuesday, Feb. 3 at Arkansas, followed by a Saturday, Feb. 7 matchup at Vanderbilt. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on the SEC Network with a tip time set for 9 p.m. ET. Arkansas enters weekend play with a 5-2 mark in league play, and the Razorbacks will play at Florida this Saturday afternoon.