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Women's Basketball Faces Top-20 Road Foe
Women's Basketball  . 

Women's Basketball Faces Top-20 Road Foe

COLUMBIA, S.C. – #16/18 South Carolina travels to #19/15 Kentucky for a Thursday night top-20 matchup in SEC women’s basketball action. The Gamecocks (14-5, 6-1 SEC) are looking for their ninth-straight win over the Wildcats and to stay in second place in the SEC standings.

• The Gamecocks have posted at least six wins through the first half of SEC play for the seventh time in as many seasons. A win tonight would be their seventh by the halfway point, which Carolina has done in four of the last five seasons – each of which yielded the SEC regular-season title.

• The Gamecock frontcourt has taken on more of the offensive load in SEC play, averaging 29.6 points per game – 41.2 percent of South Carolina’s 71.7 points per game in league play. Starting forwards Mikiah Herbert Harrigan and Alexis Jennings have both scored in double figures in four of the team’s seven league games, including each of the last two, and they’ve done it shooting 52.6 percent and 51.7 percent, respectively. Herbert Harrigan’s 13.3 points per SEC game are second on the team and 24th in the league. She is fourth in field goal percentage, second in blocks per game (2.6) and 16th in rebounding average (6.1) as well.

• Junior forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan has been making her case for All-SEC selection all season long as she has consistently shown the skills and reliability previously only applied sparingly in her first two seasons. Her contributions have gone up with her playing time – 10.1 ppg and 5.2 rpg in 22.3 minutes per game this season compared to 7.1 ppg and 3.7 rpg in 16.9 minutes per game last season. Her consistent play translates to 18.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per 40 minutes this season vs. just 16.8 and 8.6, respectively, last season.

• Junior guard Tyasha Harris is delivering her best basketball of the season this month, especially in the last five games, during which she averages 12.6 points and 5.6 assists and is shooting 45.5 percent from the field, including 50.0 percent from 3-point range. She has handed out five or more assists 10 times in 19 games this season.


5 Gamecocks averaging double-figure points over the last five games

6.0 Rebounds per game by LeLe Grissett over the last five outings

11 National ranking of junior guard Tyasha Harris in assist-to-turnover ratio

76.0 Gamecocks’ scoring average over the last five games

Kentucky leads the series 33-30, but the Gamecocks have won the last eight and 11 of the last 13 contests. South Carolina is 14-9 against Kentucky in the Dawn Staley era.

Both teams have been nationally ranked in 14 of the 23 games in the Dawn Staley era, including 13 of the last 15. Nine of the 23 games in the Staley era were decided by single digits, and the home team won 14 of the 23 games in that stretch.


After a non-conference slate that included games against three top-10 opponents, the Gamecocks’ SEC slate has only bolstered its strength of schedule, which is up to 20th.

The Gamecocks have already faced nine teams in the RPI top 50, including five in the top 20. South Carolina’s current RPI is 20.

Overall this season, South Carolina’s schedule includes eight games against teams ranked in this week’s AP and/or USA Today Coaches Poll, including four against top-10 foes – #1/1 Baylor, #2/2 UConn, #6/6 Mississippi State (twice), #11/10 Maryland, #19/15 Kentucky (twice) and #20/24 Texas A&M. Four of those eight were or will be on the road.


Senior forward Alexis Jennings has found her place as the base of the frontcourt this season after last season’s effort earned her 2018-19 preseason accolades – Katrina McClain Award Watch List, Preseason All-SEC. 

After missing the season opener and playing restricted minutes early as she recovered from an injury, Jennings announced her physical return with a 12-point, 14-rebound game against #9/8 Oregon State (Nov. 23). She has scored in double figures nine times in the 12 games since then, including four of the last five.

On the season, Jennings is fourth on the team with 10.1 points per game to go with her team-high 5.3 rebounds per game. 

Including her two seasons at Kentucky, Jennings ranks fifth among active SEC players in career double-doubles (14), comes in fourth in rebounds (698) and is 10th in points (1,189).

Junior guard Te’a Cooper wasted little time stamping her comeback to the court after 957 days between college games by impacting the Gamecocks’ effectiveness on both sides of the ball.

Following her transfer from Tennessee prior to the 2017-18 season, Cooper, who sat out the 2016-17 season with an injury, returned to the court against Alabama State (Nov. 11) and poured in a game-high 17 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 night at the free throw line. She added three assists and three steals in her 21 minutes on the court.

Cooper has led the team in scoring a team-high 10 times so far this season, including turning in four of the Gamecocks’ five 20-point games and their only 30-point game this season. Three of those 20-point games came against nationally ranked opponents.