Nov. 14, 2015
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A pair of 1-0 teams face of Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena as No. 2/2 South Carolina hosts UNCG at 3 p.m. The Gamecocks used a strong fourth quarter to push past No. 6/10 Ohio State on Friday night, while the Spartans outlasted Pfeiffer 71-52. Prior to tipoff, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley will receive the 2015 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award.
- South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley will be recognized before today’s tipoff as Dr. Mike Spino of the U.S. Sports Academy presents her with the 2015 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award, which is presented to an individual who has experienced outstanding achievement as a coach for female teams while exhibiting a high standard of propriety, imagination and innovation as a character builder in the tradition of great teacher-coaches.
- Both of today’s teams return their leading scorer from last season — senior Tiffany Mitchell (14.4 ppg) for the Gamecocks and senior Lucy Mason (15.3 ppg) for the Spartans.
- Both South Carolina and UNCG are led by Virginia Cavaliers separated by a single season with Dawn Staley playing 1989-92 and Wendy Palmer on the 1993-96 teams. Both were twice named ACC Player of the Year (Staley 1991, 1992; Palmer 1995, 1996) and have their jersey numbers retired — #24 for Staley, #31 for Palmer. Staley was a three-time All-American, while Palmer has two selections. Staley earned All-ACC honors all four years of her career with Palmer claiming it just three times. Palmer holds the UVa record with 58 career double-doubles, while Staley recorded the only two triple-doubles in program history. Staley played in three NCAA Final Fours, which Palmer’s teams did not reach in her playing career.
UNCG Series Notes
The Gamecocks have a 2-1 edge in the all-time series with the Spartans with all three games coming in the 1974-75 season. That was the first for program as part of the South Carolina Athletics Department.
Junior center Alaina Coates was a dominant force and big reason South Carolina advanced to its first NCAA Final Four last season. With 17 points and 13 rebounds in the season opener against Ohio State, Coates is already 10th on the program’s career double-doubles list with 23, just one shy of matching Aleighsa Welch’s 24 in ninth. Ten of those have come in SEC play, which rank her second in program history in that category.