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March 21, 2015


South Carolina Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Buy Tickets | NCAA 1st & 2nd Round Central | NCAA Tournament Central | Updated Bracket

Game Information

NCAA Tournament Second Round
Opponent: Syracuse (22-9, 11-5 ACC)
Date: Sunday, March 22, 2015 | 7 p.m.
Site: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Tickets: $20 adult, $2 youth (17 and under)
Broadcast: ESPN (Pam Ward, pxp; Carolyn Peck, analyst); ESPN3
Radio: 107.5 The Game (Brad Muller)
Live Stats:
Series History: SC leads 2-1

South Carolina Notables

  • Junior Tiffany Mitchell and South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley remain in the conversation for premier national awards this season as both were named Naismith finalists by the Atlanta Tipoff Club this week. Staley was a finalist last season, while Mitchell is the Gamecocks’ third finalist in program history, joining Jocelyn Penn (2003) and Shannon Johnson (1996).
  • With entry into tonight’s game, senior Aleighsa Welch will tie the program record for career games played at 134. Gamecock great Sheila Foster (1979-82) is the current record holder.
  • The Gamecocks’ 31 wins this season broke a 35-year old school record, topping the 1979-80 team’s 30-win effort that yielded a spot in the AIAW Final Four and a No. 4 final ranking.
  • South Carolina’s 64.2 percent field goal shooting was the best in Colonial Life Arena history and the fourth highest in program history. The Gamecocks flirted with the NCAA Tournament field goal percentage record (.750 by Texas vs. Missouri, 3/14/86) for much of the game after shooting 72.0 percent in the first half. South Carolina kept it over 70.0 percent until the 2:00 mark, shooting 74.4 percent at 5:49 and 70.8 percent until a missed 3-pointer at 1:36.
  • With their individual efforts against Savannah State (Mar. 20), senior Aleighsa Welch (6-of-6) and Alaina Coates (5-of-5) joined 15 other perfect shooting efforts in Arena history (minimum 5 FGM). Two other games on that list came earlier this season, and all but one of them have been by Gamecocks.
  • In now four postseason games, South Carolina has lifted its offensive efficiency and tightened its already stingy defense, which has been among the top 10 in the nation all season. The Gamecocks are shooting 51.4 percent from the field in postseason action after finishing the regular season at 47.7 percent. Defensively, South Carolina has allowed just 46.0 points per game in postseason action after yielding 53.3 in the regular season.
  • The Gamecocks are 30-0 when out-scoring opponents in the paint and have topped their foes in that category by at least 30 points seven times, including two games of 40+ points more. South Carolina averages 39.4 points per game in the paint.
  • South Carolina’s bench is among the most productive in the nation, accounting for 48.2 percent of the team’s 75.7 points per game (36.5 ppg). The group has out-scored the Gamecocks’ starters 18 times this season, including 11 SEC games and two postseason outings, and has provided the team’s top scorer 17 times.


A South Carolina Win Would…

  • Put the Gamecocks in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the second-straight season, third time in the Staley era and sixth time overall.
  • Be the Gamecocks’ 34th straight at home, which would tie UConn for the longest in the nation.
  • Make the Gamecocks 7-2 in NCAA Tournament games played in Columbia – 2-0 in Colonial Life Arena.

By the Numbers
Fast break points allowed by the Gamecocks in the last three games
2 Halves in the last five in which the Gamecocks have shot over 70.0 percent from the field (78.3, 2nd half vs. LSU and 72.0, 1st half vs. Savannah State)
2 Gamecocks shooting over 70.0 percent from the field in postseason play – Alaina Coates, 71.4% and A’ja Wilson, 70.8%
11 Double-doubles by Alaina Coates this season, including five in SEC play
13 Statistical categories in which the Gamecocks lead the SEC
15 Games in which the Gamecocks have shot at least 50.0 percent from the field, including seven SEC contests
15.1 Second-chance points per game scored by South Carolina, compared to 8.9 for its opponents
16 Games in which the Gamecocks have scored at least half their points in the paint
18 Games in which South Carolina’s bench has tied or out-scored its starters, including 11 SEC contests
18.6 Points per game more in the paint scored by the Gamecocks than their opponents (39.4-21.8)
24 Games in which Alaina Coates has pulled down double-figure rebounds in her career, during which the Gamecocks are 23-1, including a 13-0 mark this season
38 Times this season a Gamecock has played 30 or more minutes in a game, compared to 71 times last season
42.9 Percent of their own missed shots rebounded by the Gamecocks
46.0 Points per game allowed by South Carolina in the postseason
48.2 Percent of the Gamecocks’ scoring that comes from the bench

Syracuse Series Notes
The Gamecocks lead the series 2-1 after rallying from a 10-point second-half deficit for a 67-63 win over Syracuse on Nov. 28 in the Junkanoo Jam. After trailing for much of the game, South Carolina mounted a furious 18-4 run that closed the game. The Orange locked down the Gamecocks’ veteran post players, but freshman A’ja Wilson dominated late in the second half with six of her 10 rebounds and 11 of her 15 points coming in the period. In the final 2:00, Dozier, Wilson and Mitchell combined to seal the victory. The first games of the series came in 2000 and 2001 with each team winning on its home court.

Controlled Caroms
The Gamecocks have also built their success on the glass – an aspect of the game that head coach Dawn Staley preaches as a measure of effort as much as talent. South Carolina ranks ninth in the nation in rebounding margin, out-boarding its opponents by 10.5 per game. The Gamecocks have out-paced their opponent by double-digit rebounds 16 times this season, including eight SEC outings. The rebounding margin has been at least 20 four times – Clemson (+22), Savannah State (+35), at Hampton (+27) and Vanderbilt (+20). Only two teams – #22/22 Syracuse (Nov. 28) and #9/8 Duke (Dec. 7) – have out-rebounded South Carolina this season. Kentucky (Mar. 1) tied the Gamecocks on the boards.

Bench Marks
While every competitor wants to be a starter, the Gamecocks have shown that the bench can be just as productive a position. The South Carolina bench has tied or out-scored its starting teammates 18 times this season, including 11 SEC contests, and has out-scored the entire opposing team five times – Clemson (Nov. 20), San Diego State (Nov. 23), NC Central (Dec. 1) and Florida (Jan. 19). In all, the bench has accounted for 48.2 percent of the Gamecocks’ points this season, including 50.6 percent of the offense in SEC games. Of the 115 double-figure games turned in this season, 58 of them have come from the bench – A’ja Wilson (26), Alaina Coates (18), Bianca Cuevas (7), Tina Roy (4), Jatarie White (2) and Asia Dozier (1).