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Feb. 18, 2015

South Carolina Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Coach Staley

Game Information

Opponent: Arkansas (15-9, 5-7 SEC)
Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015 | 8 p.m. (CT)
Site: Fayetteville, Ark.
Arena: Bud Walton Arena (19,200)
Broadcast: SEC Network (Cara Capuano pxp; Gail Goestenkors, analyst); via WatchESPN
Radio: 107.5 The Game (Brad Muller);
Live Stats:
Series History: ARK leads 17-12

South Carolina Notables

  • South Carolina has ramped up its defensive pressure recently, forcing 21.0 turnovers and swiping 13.0 steals per game over the last two outings (vs. LSU and Vanderbilt). In total, the Gamecocks have forced 20 or more turnovers in a game eight times, including three SEC outings (LSU, Vanderbilt, Alabama).
  • The Gamecocks’ 3-point shooting has been especially efficient lately as they have shot 45.8 percent (27-of-59) over the last five games. Their 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from long range against LSU was a season high and this season’s fourth game shooting over 50.0 percent. In addition to the season-long proficiency of junior Tiffany Mitchell, hitting 47.5 percent from outside the arc, junior Tina Roy has lifted her 3-point percentage to 41.7 percent on the season, including a team-best 47.2 percent in SEC action.
  • South Carolina has seen increased offensive production from its primary point guards in the last 10 games as junior Khadijah Sessions and freshman Bianca Cuevas combine to average 14.0 points over the stretch, compared to their combined 8.7 scoring average prior to the Jan. 11 game against Kentucky. The duo has combined for double-digit scoring eight times in the last 10 games compared to just five times in the first 15.
  • South Carolina has shown its versatility throughout games this season with six different Gamecocks leading the offense in at least one game – three guards (Tiffany Mitchell, Bianca Cuevas, Asia Dozier) and three post players (A’ja Wilson, Alaina Coates, Aleighsa Welch).
  • Guard/forward A’ja Wilson became the first freshman to post consecutive 20-point games in SEC play in program history with her 26 vs. LSU and 20 against Vanderbilt. The last Gamecock freshman to record back-to-back 20-point games was Kelsey Bone in November 2009 in non-conference action.
  • Senior forward Aleighsa Welch has been steadily increasing her rebounding average since the start of SEC play, during which she averages 7.1 per game to rank in the top 10 in the league. Her production has especially skyrocketed in the last four outings, during which her 10.8 rebounds per game have lifted her season average nearly a full rebound per game – 5.5 rpg after Ole Miss (Feb. 1) to its current average of 6.3. She needs just for rebounds to move into the Gamecocks’ all-time top five in total boards. She is already second in school history in career offensive rebounds.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Ensure the Gamecocks’ fourth-straight 25-win season after the program reached the plateau just three times in the 37 previous seasons.
  • Give South Carolina 13 SEC victories for just the second time in school history, but the second time in as many seasons.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ seventh SEC road victory, topping last season’s record of six.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ fifth straight over Arkansas and their third straight over the Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena.

By the Numbers
Game this season in which South Carolina has attempted fewer than 10 free throws (vs. Central Michigan, Dec. 20)
2 Women who have both played for and coached the nation’s No. 1 team as South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley joined Baylor’s Kim Mulkey in the category this season
4 Rebounded needed by senior Aleighsa Welch to move into the program’s all-time top five in career boards
4 Games in which South Carolina has shot over 50.0 percent from 3-point range, including two of the last three contests
6 Games this season in which the Gamecocks have held a team to less than 30.0 percent shooting, including three in SEC play
5.7 Free throws made per game more by the Gamecocks than their opponents (15.0-9.3)
10 Double-doubles by Alaina Coates this season, tied for most in the SEC, including four in league play
11 Games in which the Gamecocks have shot at least 50.0 percent from the field, including five SEC contests
13 Games in which the Gamecocks have out-rebounded their opponent by 10 or more, including six in SEC play
15 Games in which South Carolina’s bench has tied or out-scored its starters, including 10 SEC contests
17.7 Point per game more in the paint scored by the Gamecocks than their opponents (40.1-22.4)
24 Times this season a Gamecock has played 30 or more minutes in a game, compared to 71 times last season
77.1 Percent free throw shooting by the Gamecocks in the last five minutes of games with a margin of 10 or fewer points

Arkansas Series History
The Razorbacks lead the series 17-12, but the Gamecocks have won five of the last six, including a current four-game win streak. South Carolina swept the home-and-home series last season, eking out a 55-51 victory in Fayetteville (Jan. 2) before storming past the Razorbacks 67-49 in Columbia (Feb. 9). Bud Walton Arena has proved to be a challenging venue for South Carolina, despite their 3-2 record there in the Staley era. Four of the five games in Fayetteville were decided by five points or less, including one overtime affair.

To Watch the SEC Network
To watch the SEC Network (television/linear channel), you must be a customer of one of the following: AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast, Xfinity TV, Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH, Google Fiber, LUS Fiber, PTC Communications, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable, Wilkes Telephone, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC. To watch games online, you must be a customer of one of the following: AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Suddenlink, and members of the NCTC, NRTC and NTTC. You can contact your cable/satellite provider and get a username and password which will allow you to access the content on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices like Xbox.

Staley Status Update
While leading the Gamecocks to one of the best seasons in program history, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley has continued to carve out her place as one of the top coaches in the game. With the Gamecocks’ rise to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll this season, Staley joined Baylor’s Kim Mulkey as the only women to have played on and coached a No. 1-ranked team. Staley’s Virginia team was ranked No. 1 for a total of 24 weeks spanning her junior and senior seasons. She has led the Gamecocks to 12 weeks in the top spot in the Associated Press poll so far. Staley also earned an extension from USA Basketball last week as she was named to an assistant coach to the U.S. Women’s National Team through the 2016 Olympic Games. Her USA Basketball coaching resume already includes gold medals at the 2014 FIBA U18 Americas Championship (head coach), 2014 FIBA World Championship (assistant coach), 2008 Beijing Olympics (asst. coach) and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship (asst. coach).

Road Warriors
The Gamecocks are 8-1 on the road this season, including six SEC wins in enemy territory. Overall, South Carolina is 211-241 (.467) in road games, including a 44-32 (.579) record during the Dawn Staley era. After a difficult start as the Gamecocks’ mentor, Staley has guided her team to two of the program’s top five road records in program history, including last season’s school-record winning percentage of .833 (10-2). Her 2012-13 team posted a 7-3 (.700) record on the road for the fourth-best in program history.