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Jan. 25, 2016

Game Information

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016

Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET

Location: Columbia, S.C.

Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)


Broadcast: SEC Network

Radio: 107.5 (in Columbia) | Gamecock IMG Radio Network | Listen!

COLUMBIA, S.C. – After two games on the road, South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena for a pair this week, starting on Tuesday when the Gamecocks welcome Mississippi State and first-year head coach Ben Howland to Columbia. The Bulldogs hold a lead in the all-time series between the two schools, but the Gamecocks have won two straight, and three of the last four.


The week of Jan. 25-31 is the NABC’s Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week, a nationwide event when basketball coaches across the country unite for a common cause ââ’¬” saving lives from cancer! Coaches and their staff are encouraged to wear sneakers with their suits while coaching games to raise awareness about the fight against cancer and to share the importance of nutrition and physical activity in reducing one’s risk of the disease, and to promote the American Cancer Society as a place for people facing cancer to turn for free information, help, and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition this season, coaches and teams will wear special laces in honor of Lacey Holsworth, an avid basketball fan. The laces can be purchased at Shoe Carnival, and will help in the fight against cancer, and to raise awareness about the disease.


– South Carolina is in its 108th season of varsity basketball in 2015-16.
– Carolina is led by fourth-year head coach Frank Martin. Alongside him are associate head coach Matt Figger, assistant coaches Perry Clark and Lamont Evans and director of men’s hoops operations, Andy Assaley.
– South Carolina is receiving votes in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll, while Carolina is No. 22 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Gamecocks have been ranked for the past six weeks in the Coaches Poll, rising to as high as 15th, and were ranked for five straight weeks in the AP poll before falling out of the Top 25 this week.
– Despite a season high 22 points from senior forward Michael Carrera, the Gamecocks suffered a 78-69 loss on the road at Tennessee over the weekend. Carolina dominated the paint, out-scoring the Vols 40-14 in the lane, but UT converted 17 Gamecock turnovers into 24 points to earn the home win. Junior guard Duane Notice (14) and freshman forward Chris Silva (11) also scored in double-figures for Carolina in the loss.
– South Carolina has struggled from the 3-point line of late, converting on just 17-of-80 (.213) from beyond the arc over the course of the last five games.
– South Carolina is 31st in the most recent NCAA RPI (Jan. 25).
– The Gamecocks have played four of their first six league games on the road, and will play four of the next six at home starting Tuesday vs. Mississippi State.


Mississippi State enters Tuesday’s matchup with the Gamecocks with an 8-10 overall record, which includes a 1-5 mark in league games. The Bulldogs lone SEC win came on Saturday in a home victory over instate rival Ole Miss. Four average double-figures for the Bulldogs, led by senior guard Gavin Ware’s 16.2 per game. Senior guard Craig Sword’s 13.8 per game lead the team in SEC action. Under the direction of first-year head coach Ben Howland, the Bulldogs average 76.6 points per game (overall games), and rank 46th in the country and second in the SEC with a 47.0 field goal percentage. Mississippi State is also very good from the free throw line, leading the SEC at 74.5 percent, which ranks 25th nationally.


South Carolina will host Alabama on Saturday in the second meeting of the 2016 league campaign between the two schools. The Crimson Tide handed the Gamecocks their first loss of the season in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 13. Game time for the contest is set for 6 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network with Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) on the call.


18 – Rookie guard Jamall Gregory played a season high 18 minutes in Carolina’s win at Ole Miss on Jan. 19. Gregory scored four points, including a highlight reel dunk in the second half, while also pulling down five rebounds. He also aided the Gamecock offense with two assists against zero turnovers in the contest.
11 – South Carolina trailed by as many as 11 points in the matchup at Ole Miss before the comeback win. It was Carolina’s first comeback win in a true road game after trailing by double-digits since posting a 58-55 win at Clemson on Dec. 4, 2011. The Gamecocks trailed the Tigers by 10 in that contest.
117 – Senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas is just four games away from cracking the top 10 in career games played in South Carolina history. Tony Kitchings (1999-2003), Barry Manning (1988-92) and Jamel Bradley (1999-2002) played in 121 games each during their careers.
22 – Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell matched his season high with 22 points in the Carolina win vs. Missouri. He also hit 22 in the road win to open league play at Auburn.
5 – In scoring those 22 points at Auburn, Thornwell hit a career high five 3s. It was the most made 3s in a game by a Gamecock since classmate Duane Notice hit his own career high five vs. Clemson last season.