Women's Hoops at Arkansas on ESPN2 Sunday
#1/1 SOUTH CAROLINA (16-1, 4-1) AT ARKANSAS (11-5, 1-2)
JANUARY 16, 2022 | 3:30 PM ET | FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. | BUD WALTON ARENA
- South Carolina’s defense, which ranks 16th in the nation in allowing 53.5 ppg, has locked up some of the SEC’s top scorers in the last four games. The league’s top scorer Rickea Jackson of Mississippi State entered the game scoring 21.3 ppg but managed just 14 on 5-of-19 shooting against the Gamecocks. Two games later, Kentucky’s reigning SEC Player of the Year Rhyne Howard saw her 19.7 ppg drop after scoring just nine on 2-of-14 shooting in Columbia. Texas A&M’s Kayla Wells brought 17.1 ppg into Thursday’s game and scored just 11 on 3-of- 10 shooting.
- South Carolina’s frontcourt has been incredibly efficient in SEC action – and not just national player of the year candidate Aliyah Boston. In SEC action, senior Victaria Saxton and sophomore Kamilla Cardoso have joined Boston in logging a majority of the minutes in the paint. In addition to Boston’s 17.8 ppg on 57.4 percent shooting and 14.2 rpg in league play, Saxton posted 9.4 ppg on 67.9 percent shooting and 5.2 rpg. Cardoso missed one SEC game, but appears to be settling into her new conference with 9.0 ppg on 69.6 percent shooting and 6.3 rpg.
- The Gamecocks’ league-leading 49.6 rebounds per SEC game have been a full team effort, including 6.0 rebounds per game each from starting guards Brea Beal and Destanni Henderson.
- Junior All-American Aliyah Boston broke a 44-year old school record by posting her 10th-straight double-double Thursday against Texas A&M (Jan. 13). The record-break double-double came in her first 13 minutes on the court. Boston’s 41 career double-doubles include 21 in SEC action and are the sixth most among active NCAA Div. I players – the most among non-seniors.
- Senior Victaria Saxton has scored in double figures in three of her last four games.
BY THE NUMBERS
5 – Senior Destanni Henderson needs five points to become the third Gamecock this season to reach 1,000 in her career.
16 – The Gamecocks have out-scored an opponent by double digits in a quarter 16 times, including five third quarters.
16.6 – South Carolina’s 16.6 offensive rebounds per game rank eighth in the nation and have led to 16.7 second-chance points per game
The Arkansas Series
South Carolina is 22-18 all-time against Arkansas after winning 14 of the last 15 meetings, including the last four. The Gamecocks are just 8-10 against the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, though.
Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 15-4 against Arkansas.
In the last meeting between the two teams, on Jan. 18, 2021, in Columbia, the Gamecocks celebrated the unveiling of the A’ja Wilson statue with a 104-82 victory over the Razorbacks. Then-sophomores Aliyah Boston and Brea Beal scored 26 and 22 points, respectively, as the South Carolina offense exploded for 54.1 percent shooting, including 65.8 percent in the second half to pull away after a 42-37 halftime score.
The Gamecocks are 280-260 all-time in road games, including a 105-46 mark under head coach Dawn Staley. Her .695 winning percentage on the road is the best in program history.
In SEC road games, Gamecocks are 72-33 (.686) during Staley’s tenure.
South Carolina leads the country with eight games against nationally ranked teams, seven of which were in the AP top 15 at the time of the game. Wins in all eight 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 six games against conference rivals in this week’s national rankings.
All-Everything Aliyah Boston
From her career debut triple-double to becoming the only 2021 finalist for both the Naismith Trophy and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, junior Aliyah Boston has spent two seasons on the national stage. In her third campaign, she is poised to rise to the top step.
Boston entered her third season as a two-time All-American and two-time Lisa Leslie Center Award winner. She averages a double-double for her career (14.0 ppg/10.6 rpg) while her 41 career double-doubles leads active SEC players and is tied for seventh in program history. In 36 career games against ranked opponents, her averages rise to 14.4 ppg and 11.8 rpg.
Boston is USA Today’s Preseason Player of the Year and a unanimous First-Team All-American. Dropping over 20 pounds since the start of her sophomore season, Boston was all about basketball this summer, helping the U.S. to gold at the FIBA AmeriCup and spending time training with NBA legend Tim Duncan.