Gamecocks Back for SEC Action Sunday Evening
#1/1 SOUTH CAROLINA (12-1, 0-1) VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE (9-3, 0-0)
JANUARY 2, 2022 | 6 P.M. ET | COLUMBIA, S.C. | COLONIAL LIFE ARENA (18,000)
- Tickets for the originally scheduled Jan. 2 game vs. Ole Miss will be honored for this game.
- Due to the late rescheduling and time change, the parking shuttle from the Pendleton Street Garage will NOT be running for this game. All parking in the lots around Colonial Life Arena will be free.
- There will be two primary concession stands and limited third-party kiosks available around the concourse.
- Sunday’s game is the 700th of head coach Dawn Staley’s career. Her 515-184 record ranks her 13th in winning percentage (.737) among active NCAA Div. I coaches with at least 10 years on the sidelines.
- The Gamecocks have not lost back-to-back SEC regular-season games since February 2013 when they fell to Texas A&M and Kentucky on Feb. 10 and 14, respectively. Since then, South Carolina has only lost two in a row three times – UConn, Mississippi State in 2017-18; Drake, Dayton in 2018-19; and Mississippi State, Arkansas (SEC Tournament) in 2018-19. In the last two seasons, the Gamecocks’ average margin of victory in the game following a loss is 16.2.
- National Player of the Year candidate Aliyah Boston is 11th in the nation with seven double-doubles this season, including six in the last six games. But, she affects both ends of the floor, ranking fifth in the nation in blocks per game (3.2) and 24th in defensive rebounds per game (7.2).
- The Gamecocks’ bench has out-scored opponents’ benches 22.6 to 12.2 points per game this season. Only Duke and Stanford’s benches have out-scored South Carolina’s this season.
- Senior point guard Destanni Henderson has handed out five or more assists seven times in her 10 games this season. Dishing out seven in each of the last two games has moved her into second in the SEC at 5.0 assists per game. She has had only three games of more than two turnovers.
- Sophomore Kamilla Cardoso is showing signs of settling in after transferring to South Carolina. The 6-foot-7 center narrowly missed a double-double at Missouri (Dec. 30) with 14 points and eight rebounds, shooting 7-of-9 from the field in that outing. She has two double-doubles on the season and is second on the team in blocked shots.
BY THE NUMBERS
1 – The Gamecocks have been out-rebounded just once in their last 46 games dating back to the 2019-20 regular-season finale.
4 – Four Gamecocks are among the SEC top 15 in blocked shots per game – Boston, Cardoso, Amihere and Saxton.
6 – Junior forward Aliyah Boston has posted a double-double in each of the last six games. She has seven on the season.
The Mississippi State Series
South Carolina leads the overall series 24-19 and has won the last three meetings, snapping a two-game skid to the Bulldogs. In the last five meetings, the higher ranked team has prevailed.
The Gamecocks dominated the most recent meeting, a 75-52 win in Starkville on Jan. 28, 2021. After a tight opening period, the South Carolina offense ignited for 26 points in the second to take a commanding lead into halftime. Victaria Saxton posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Zia Cooke netted 19 points.
The last time Mississippi State came to Columbia, the Gamecocks claimed an 81-79 victory on Jan. 20, 2020, as Cooke picked off the Bulldogs’ inbound pass with eight seconds to play to seal the victory.
South Carolina has long dominated the paint on both ends of the court. This season, the Gamecocks average 37.5 points in the paint, accounting for 52.3 percent of their total offense. Unlike many previous season, post players have been the dominant scorers in the paint, accounting for 72.1 percent of the paint points with 27.1 such points per game.
Defensively, the Gamecocks have protected the paint, yielding just 21.8 points per game in that space for 41.6 percent of opponents’ offenses.
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 six home games are six of the top seven attended games in the country.
Excluding the COVID limited-attendance season of 2019-20, South Carolina has drawn at least 10,000 fans in 53 consecutive games dating back to the Nov. 10, 2017, season opener. In regular-season action (excluding NCAA Tournament games), the streak stretches to 88 games beginning on Jan. 2, 2015.