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Nov. 3, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina women’s basketball earned the No. 2 spot in the Associated Press Preseason Poll, the organization announced today, joining the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and ESPN in putting the Gamecocks in that preseason position. It matches last season’s mark for the highest preseason rank in program history.

South Carolina is coming off its most successful season, winning a school-record 34 games and advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the first time. The Gamecocks also won their first SEC Tournament title in their first appearance in the championship game. Scoring 75.9 points per game, South Carolina ranked 18th in the nation in scoring while maintaining its defensive presence at 12th in the nation, allowing just 54.1 points per game. The Gamecocks’ .484 field goal percentage was fourth-best in the nation, and they also ranked among the nation’s top 10 in scoring margin (+21.7, 3rd), field goal percentage defense (.349, 10th), rebound margin (+9.6, 10th) and blocked shots (6.3, 7th).

The Gamecocks spent 12 weeks at No. 1 in the AP poll last season, the program’s first ascension to the top spot in the nation. South Carolina returns its top three scorers and top two rebounders from that squad. Two-time All-America and SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell became the program’s first finalist for all three national player of the year awards last season. The Gamecocks’ frontcourt returns its top two producers in All-America sophomore A’ja Wilson, who averaged 13.1 points and 6.6 rebounds last season, and NCAA Greensboro Regional MOP Alaina Coates, who shot a team-best 56.2 percent from the field en route to 11.1 points per game to go with her 7.9 rebounds per outing.

The Gamecocks host Newberry in an exhibition game on Fri., Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena. Admission is free. South Carolina’s regular-season opener is slated for Fri., Nov. 13, against No. 10 Ohio State at 7 p.m. Both games will air on SEC Network+.

After selling over 10,000 season tickets this season, season tickets are sold out. Single-game tickets for all games except the Feb. 8 contest against preseason No. 1 UConn are on sale now at $8 for adults and $4 for youth (17 and under).

AP Preseason Top 25
1. Connecticut
2. South Carolina
3. Notre Dame
4. Tennessee
5. Baylor
6. Ohio State
7. Florida State
8. Louisville
9. Maryland
10. Oregon State
11. Mississippi State
12. Texas
13. Texas A&M
14. Duke
15. Arizona State
16. Stanford
17. Oklahoma
18. Kentucky
19. Northwestern
20. South Florida
21. George Washington
22. North Carolina
23. Syracuse
24. Michigan State
25. Chattanooga

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