Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Jan. 20, 2016

Game Information

Date: Thu., Jan. 21, 2016

Tipoff: 7 p.m. (ET)

Location: Auburn, Ala.

Arena: Auburn Arena

Tickets: $8 Reserved, $6 General Admission

Broadcast:SEC Network+ (Rod Bramlett, pxp; Joe Ciampi, analyst)

Radio: 1320 AM/107.5 The Game in progress (Brad Muller);

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 2/2 South Carolina plays its first of two road games this week on Thu., Jan. 21, at Auburn. The Gamecocks have won six of the last nine against the Tigers, including three straight heading into Thursday’s matchup. South Carolina (17-0, 5-0 SEC) plays three of its next four on the road after taking on three straight top-20 opponents over the last two weeks. It has been the poise of their seniors that has helped keep the Gamecocks undefeated on the season, complementing the frontcourt dominance of junior center Alaina Coates ââ’¬” five straight double-figure rebound games ââ’¬” and sophomore forward A’ja Wilson ââ’¬” back-to-back 26-point, eight-block games last week.


  • South Carolina is 6-3 against Auburn in the Dawn Staley era (beginning 2008-09), including wins in the last three meetings. Six of the nine games were decided by single digits, including the two at Auburn, which came by a combined nine points.
  • Senior guard Tiffany Mitchell has thrived against Auburn in her career, especially on the defensive end, swiping 3.3 steals per game against the Tigers.
  • In the six games this season that were within 10 points in the final five minutes, the Gamecocks have shot 64.3 percent in the last five minutes. South Carolina’s frontcourt of junior Alaina Coates and sophomore A’ja Wilson has dominated the waning moments of those games, scoring 43 of the 73 points and shooting a combined 18-of-23 (.783).
  • South Carolina ranks among the nation’s top 15 in both field goal percentage (13th, .464) and field goal percentage defense (14th, .337).
  • South Carolina’s four, four-year seniors ââ’¬” Asia Dozier, Tiffany Mitchell, Tina Roy and Khadijah Sessions ââ’¬” average a combined 35.2 points per SEC game, which is up from their 28.5 points per non-conference game.
  • Sophomore forward A’ja Wilson was named espnW National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week for her back-to-back 26-point, eight-block outings in a pair of comeback wins over ranked opponents last week.
  • Junior center Alaina Coates has grabbed double-digit rebounds in eight of her last nine games to average 10.8 rebounds in SEC play.
  • With four steals against Texas A&M (Jan. 17), Tiffany Mitchell became just the third Gamecock in history to record at least 1,600 points, 300 assists and 200 steals in her career.
  • Senior guard Khadijah Sessions has been rock solid in SEC play, averaging 8.4 points on 56.0 percent shooting, including 55.6 percent from 3-point range, while also averaging 2.0 assists and 2.2 steals.

By the Numbers

5 Consecutive games of double-digit rebounds by junior center Alaina Coates, who has 10 on the season, including four against ranked opponents
6 League-play stats in which senior guard Tiffany Mitchell ranks among the SEC’s top 10 ââ’¬” scoring (5th), field goal percentage (5th), assists (9th), steals (3rd), 3-pointers made (8th), assist-to-turnover ratio (8th)
8.4 Points per game by senior Khadijah Sessions in SEC play this season after averaging 4.9 last season
13 Times South Carolina has shot over 50.0 percent in the fourth quarter this season, including four of five SEC games

Auburn Series Notes

The Tigers leads the series 21-18, but the Gamecocks are 6-3 against them in the Dawn Staley era, including wins in the last three meetings. Most of those nine games have been close, though, with six of them decided by single digits. South Carolina has particularly struggled on the road against the Tigers, going just 2-2 with the wins coming by a combined nine points. In their last trip to Auburn Arena, the then-No. 10/11 Gamecocks needed 68.8 percent second-half shooting to overcome a halftime tie for a 72-66 win on Jan. 12, 2014. Then-sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell scored 10 of her 18 points in the second half on 4-of-6 field goal shooting and added six steals to the game’s defensive effort. In the most recent meeting between the teams, South Carolina posted a 77-58 victory at Colonial Life Arena on Jan. 2, 2015, as five Gamecocks scored in double figures to offset 26 points from Hasina Muhammad. First-half defense set the tone as the Tigers scored just 17 points in the period.

Road Warriors

Overall, South Carolina is 219-243 (.474) in road games, including a 50-34 (.595) record during the Dawn Staley era. After a difficult start as the Gamecocks’ mentor, Staley has guided her team to three of the program’s top five road records in program history, including 2013-14’s school-record winning percentage of .833 (10-2). Last season’s .818 winning percentage (9-2) was second-best, while the 2012-13 team’s .733 (11-4) mark is fifth in program history. This season, South Carolina is 5-0 in road games.

SEC Story

Head coach Dawn Staley has steadily lifted the Gamecocks’ national profile by building the Gamecocks into a consistent SEC contender with back-to-back regular-season titles, shirking decades of difficulty in the nation’s best women’s basketball conference. In her eighth season at the helm, Staley boasts a 72-43 (.626) SEC regular-season record and has finished outside the league’s top five just twice ââ’¬” an unprecedented achievement for a program that had finished INSIDE the top five only two times in the previous 17 seasons. Staley’s 72 wins include four seasons of double-digit league victories ââ’¬” 10-6 in 2012, 11-5 in 2013, an SEC-best 14-2 in 2014 and 15-1 in 2015. Staley’s SEC regular-season record includes a 41-18 (.695) mark at home and a 31-25 (.554) slate on the road.

Strength in Numbers

Based on cumulative opponent winning percentage, South Carolina currently has the 21st toughest schedule in the nation. The 26 teams the Gamecocks will face this season have a current winning percentage of .635. The SEC and Pac-12 dominate the top 25 schedules with seven entries each. With eight games away from Columbia so far this season, the Gamecocks are 4th in the RPI ââ’¬” best in the SEC ahead of Kentucky (7th) and Tennessee (13th) with Mississippi State (25th) also among the top 30. Four others ââ’¬” Texas A&M (31st), Florida (38th), Georgia (34th) and Missouri (43rd) ââ’¬” are in the top 50.

Crunch Time

This season six games have been in the balance late with the teams within single digits in the last five minutes ââ’¬” #6/10 Ohio State, at UCLA, vs. #16/18 Arizona State, #14/13 Duke, at Vanderbilt, #15/11 Texas A&M ââ’¬” including three in which South Carolina trailed at halftime. The Gamecocks have won all six of those outings behind offensive efficiency and defensive rebounding. In the last five minutes of those six games, the Gamecocks shot 64.3 percent while allowing just 34.6 percent to their opponent, and South Carolina out-rebounded its opponents 35-20 in that segment of the game, including a 24-10 edge in defensive boards.