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Two-Game Homestand Starts Sunday vs. Kentucky
Women's Basketball  . 

Two-Game Homestand Starts Sunday vs. Kentucky

#1/1 SOUTH CAROLINA (14-1, 2-1) VS. #21/20 KENTUCKY (8-3, 1-0)
JANUARY 9, 2022 |  1 P.M. ET |  COLUMBIA, S.C. | COLONIAL LIFE ARENA (18,000)


  • Prior to the game, the Gamecocks will honor the newest members of the 1,000-point club, Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke, with commemorative basketballs.
  • South Carolina has shown a grittiness that head coach Dawn Staley has often searched for. In seven games against ranked opponents, the Gamecocks won three of them after trailing at the half. Of those seven ranked wins, one was decided by fewer than five points, four by 5-9 points and two by double digits.
  • The Gamecocks are among the best rebounding teams in the nation. South Carolina leads the NCAA in rebounding margin (+16.8) and the SEC in both offensive (.450) and defensive (.757) rebounding percentage. The Gamecocks’ 46.1 rebounds per game are fourth in the country.
  • Offensive rebounding has been particularly important for the Gamecocks this season. Averaging 16.1 offensive rebounds, they average exactly that number of second-chance points, accounting for 22.3 percent of their total offense.
  • South Carolina’s defense continues to shine, ranking 20th in the nation by yielding just 54.1 points per game. It’s field goal percentage defense is 28th in the nation (.347).
  • Through three SEC games, Aliyah Boston’s 13.7 rebounds per game are best in the league by 3.7 more than second place. She averages 17.3 points in league play as well (10th).
  • Senior Destanni Henderson is handing out 5.7 assists per SEC game to rank second in the league. She is also 19th in rebounds per game at 7.0.
  • While the Gamecocks’ top three scorers steal a majority of the headlines, senior Victaria Saxton and junior Brea Beal continue to deliver when the team needs them most. Saxton averages 8.3 points in SEC play (4.4 ppg in non-conference) and pulls in 5.6 rebounds per game against ranked opponents. Beal is 12th in the SEC with 2.7 offensive boards per league game and averages 6.0 rebounds in conference play (5.3 in non-conference).


8 – Aliyah Boston’s eight straight double-doubles are the most in school history since the record nine was set in 1975 and tied in 1978.

17.5 – Junior Zia Cooke has scored 17.5 points per game in South Carolina’s last two wins, shooting 41.9 percent in those games.

154 – Dawn Staley’s 154 SEC victories ties Gary Blair for the most among active league coaches and has been achieved in five fewer seasons.


The Kentucky Series
After winning 13 of the last 14 meetings, South Carolina leads the all-time series against Kentucky 35-34. In the Dawn Staley era, the Gamecocks are 19-10 against the Wildcats.

The Gamecocks swept the series each of the last two seasons – winning at home by 20+ points and on the road by single digits.

In the Wildcats’ last trip to Colonial Life Arena (Feb. 21, 2021), the Gamecocks used 60.0 percent shooting in the third quarter to establish an insurmountable lead en route to the 76-55 victory. Zia Cooke drove the offense with 21 points.

Home Sweet Home
The Gamecocks are 487-165 (.747) all-time in home games, including a 175-34 mark under head coach Dawn Staley. That .837 winning percentage is second among the program’s all-time head coaches (Pam Parsons (41-7) .854).

Playing in its 19th season at Colonial Life Arena, South Carolina boasts a 238-67 (.780) record in the building, including three undefeated seasons since 2013-14. Staley’s share of that record is 172-34 (.835).

Ranked Readings
Against ranked opponents, South Carolina is 92-66 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 77-27 against ranked teams, including a 29-6 mark since the start of the 2019-20 season.

This season, South Carolina’s seven wins over ranked opponents (all AP top-15 teams) are the most in the country and have come by an average of 9.7 points.

Junior Aliyah Boston leads the team against ranked opponents, averaging a double-double (16.9 pts/12.6 rebs) to go with 3.9 blocks per game.

Schedule Strength
South Carolina leads the country with seven games against nationally ranked teams, all ranked in the AP top 15 at the time of the game. Wins in all seven of those games have the Gamecocks atop the NET rankings as well.

The Gamecocks’ non-conference schedule is rated third-toughest in the country and preceded an SEC slate that includes seven games against conference rivals in this week’s national rankings.

Glass Ceiling
Since the start of the 2019-20 season, the Gamecocks have dominated on the glass, ranking among the NCAA’s top five in rebounds per game and rebounding margin every season and sixth in offensive rebounds per game each of the last two full seasons. South Carolina has been out-rebounded just once (Stanford, 12/21/21) in its last 48 games, dating back to the 2019-20 regular-season finale against Texas A&M.

This season, South Carolina leads the nation with a +16.8 rebounding margin. The Gamecocks lead the SEC in offensive  rebounding percentage (.450) and defensive rebounding percentage (.757).

Individually, Aliyah Boston leads the way with 10.4 rebounds per game, which ranks second in the SEC and 17th in the nation. Two other Gamecocks pull in more than five boards per game – center Kamilla Cardoso (5.6) and guard Brea Beal (5.4).