Top-Ranked Gamecocks Host Stanford Tuesday
#1/1 SOUTH CAROLINA (11-0) VS. #2/3 STANFORD (8-2)
DECEMBER 21, 2021 | 7 P.M. ET | COLUMBIA, S.C. | COLONIAL LIFE ARENA (18,000)
- With Christmas just around the corner, fans are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday shirt/sweater to celebrate.
- Santa will be in the McGuire Room 6-7:30 p.m. for photos.
- Make sure to check parking availability and options HERE.
- While tonight’s game is the eighth between Stanford and South Carolina all-time, it is just the fifth in regular-season action. The two most recent meetings have been in the NCAA Final Four with the Gamecocks winning en route to the 2017 National Championship and the Cardinal claiming the win on the way to the 2021 National Championship.
- With Stanford’s rise to the No. 2 spot in Monday’s AP Poll, tonight marks the sixth 1 vs. 2 game for the Gamecocks all-time and the second this season. South Carolina has been the No. 1 team in those matchups three times, including in this season’s 73-57 win over then-No. 2 UConn (Nov. 22)
- The Gamecocks are 12th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 50.2 points per game against one of the toughest schedules in the country. in five games against ranked opponents, they have yielded 56.2 points per game.
- The South Carolina defense has shut down some of the most potent offenses in the country. NC State, currently averages 81.5 points (15th in NCAA) but scored just 57 against the Gamecocks, its only game below 60 points this season. Maryland, which is 14th nationally at 81.6 ppg managed just 59 against South Carolina, also its lowest output of the season.
- National Player of the Year candidate Aliyah Boston has been on a tear over the last five games, averaging 19.4 points on 67.7 percent shooting, 13.0 rebounds and 4.2 blocks. The last two of those games were against top-15 foes, during which she posted 17.5 points, 15.0 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game.
- Since stepping into the starting point guard position against Kansas State (Dec. 3), junior Laeticia Amihere has averaged 8.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 2.7 assists – all increases from her season averages entering that game.
BY THE NUMBERS
5 – Both teams tonight lead the country with five games vs. ranked opponents, only one of which has been played at home for each.
8.8 – The Gamecocks lead the nation with 8.8 blocks per game, including 7.0 per game against ranked opponents.
46.1 – South Carolina reels in 46.1 percent of its own missed shots, leading the SEC in offensive rebounding percentage.
The Stanford Series
The Cardinal lead the all-time series 6-1 with a 5-1 edge in the Dawn Staley era. Four of the seven games have come in the regular season, including the most recent, which was a 53-49 win by then-No. 1 Stanford on Dec. 19, 2012.
Both teams have been ranked in the last four meetings, dating back to the 2012 NCAA Tournament contest in Fresno, Calif. The higher-ranked team has won each of those four meetings.
After the Gamecocks knocked Stanford out of the 2017 NCAA Final Four on the way to their National Championship, the Cardinal returned the favor in 2021 with a well documented one-point victory in San Antonio on April 2.
In that game, the Gamecocks rallied from a six-point halftime deficit behind 14 points from Destanni Henderson and 13 from Zia Cooke in the final 20 minutes. The pair combined for six 3s in the second half, the last of which put the Gamecocks up by one with 39 seconds to go before a Haley Jones putback reclaimed the lead seconds later.
Home Sweet Home
The Gamecocks are 485-165 (.746) all-time in home games, including a 173-34 mark under head coach Dawn Staley. Her .836 winning percentage at home is second among the program’s seven all-time head coaches (Pam Parsons (41-7) .854).
Playing in its 19th season at Colonial Life Arena, South Carolina boasts a 236-67 (.779) record in the building, including three undefeated seasons since 2013-14. Staley’s share of that record is 170-34 (.833).
Against ranked opponents, South Carolina is 90-66 in the Dawn Staley era (beginning 2008-09), and even that mark is skewed by the early seasons of her tenure.
Since the start of the 2014-15 campaign, the Gamecocks are 75-27 against ranked teams, including a 27-6 mark since the start of the 2019-20 season.
This season, South Carolina’s five wins over ranked opponents (all top-15 teams) are the most in the country and have come by an average of 11.6 points.
Juniors Zia Cooke and Aliyah Boston lead the team with 16.2 points per game against ranked opponents. Boston completes her double-double average with 11.8 points per game .
Great Gamecock Fans
South Carolina fans have led the nation in average attendance in each of the last seven seasons. With over 10,100 season tickets sold this season – the most since 10,221 were out in 2016-17 – that streak looks to continue for another year.
The Gamecocks’ home opener against Clemson (Nov. 17) drew 13,363 fans for the highest attended game in the NCAA so far this season, and South Carolina’s five home games are four of the top five attended games in the country.
Excluding the COVID limited-attendance season of 2019-20, South Carolina has drawn at least 10,000 fans in 52 consecutive games dating back to the Nov. 10, 2017, season opener. In regular-season action (excluding NCAA Tournament games), the streak stretches to 87 games beginning on Jan. 2, 2015.