Tide Rolls in for Thursday Women's Hoops Action
#1/1 SOUTH CAROLINA (20-1, 8-1) VS. ALABAMA (11-8, 2-6)
FEBRUARY 3, 2022 | 7 P.M. ET | COLUMBIA, S.C. | COLONIAL LIFE ARENA (18,000)
- TICKETS – Fans with tickets to the previously scheduled game on Feb. 6, which is no longer a game day for South Carolina, can exchange that ticket for a General Admission ticket to any of the remaining three home games free of charge. Fans can exchange their tickets via mail, in person or on any of the three remaining game days at the Colonial Life Arena box office.
- South Carolina is celebrating Black History Month with an exhibit from the University’s Civil Rights Center for fans to explore in the McGuire Club, which will be open at 6 p.m. through the end of the game.
- The Gamecocks will wear special shooting shirts Thursday night celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX. For more information on the Athletics Department’s Title IX anniversary celebration, please visit GamecocksOnline.com/TitleIX50.
- South Carolina’s always stingy defense had opponents thoroughly locked down in January, yielding just 49.9 points per game over eight games, which included three against ranked teams. Five of their last six opponents shot under 30.0 percent from the field, including the first five-game streak of that measure of defense in the Dawn Staley era.
- For the season, South Carolina ranks sixth in the nation in scoring defense (51.5) and third in field goal percentage defense (.327). The Gamecocks have held 10 teams under 30.0 percent shooting, including six SEC teams and two ranked opponents. Nine teams have failed to reach 50 points this season, including three SEC foes and two ranked teams.
- As the bench has expanded its role, the Gamecocks’ scoring distribution has broadened as well. In a pair of wins last week, seven Gamecocks averaged at least 4.0 points with four over 7.0, including junior forward Laeticia Amihere who turned in 8.0 points per game on 6-of-7 shooting.
- South Carolina’s dominance on the glass has been on full display in the last five games, out-rebounding its opponent by more then 20 boards in four of those games, including a season-high +29 advantage over Vanderbilt. Over that five-game stretch, the Gamecocks were +22.6 on the glass.
- Two Gamecocks continue to be on the watch list for the Wooden Award as the organization announced its Late Season Top 20 this week. Aliyah Boston and Destanni Henderson are two of five SEC players on the list and just one of three sets of teammates.
- Senior Destanni Henderson’s 131 career made 3-pointers are 10th in program history and just four away from ninth place. Her current career 3-point percentage of .378 would rank fourth in program history.
BY THE NUMBERS
3 – The Gamecocks have defeated three ranked teams in each of the season’s first three months. Three more are on the February schedule.
13 – South Carolina’s 13 weeks at No. 1 in the AP Poll are the most in a single season in program history.
14 – Aliyah Boston’s 14 consecutive double-doubles are the second-longest streak in SEC history, five shy of Sylvia Fowles’ (LSU) record.
The Alabama Series
South Carolina leads the all-time series 29-15 after a perfect 19-0 slate in the Dawn Staley era.
The Gamecocks and Crimson Tide played three times last season with South Carolina winning by an average of 17.7 points. The most recent meeting was in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, which the Gamecocks won 75-63 after an explosive first quarter that staked out a 26-6 advantage. The Crimson Tide edged the Gamecocks in each of the next three quarters, but it was not enough to overcome the early deficit.
In Alabama’s last trip to Colonial Life Arena, Jan. 31, 2021, the Tide took a 41-40 lead into halftime but could not hold the Gamecocks back in the second half of the 87-63 victory. Alabama managed to limit All-American Aliyah Boston to six points, but the other four Gamecock starters hit double figures, including 21 from Zia Cooke.
The Staley File
In her 22nd season as a head coach, Dawn Staley has a .740 (523-184) winning percentage, which ranks 13th in the nation among active head coaches with at least 10 seasons of experience (seventh among Power 5 conference coaches). The unanimous 2020 National Coach of the Year, she became the first person to win both a Naismith Player of the Year Trophy and a Naismith Coach of the Year Trophy.
In her 14th season leading the Gamecocks, Staley is the program’s all-time winningest coach (351) with a program-record 10 postseason appearances (9 NCAA/1 WNIT). She accounts for all three of the Gamecocks’ Final Four appearances (2015, 2017, 2021) and the first NCAA National Championship in program history (2017).
After winning five SEC regular-season titles, Staley has won 160 SEC games, the most among active league coaches and third all-time – trailing just Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees Andy Landers (Georgia, 273) and Pat Summitt (Tennessee, 306). Her 11.7 SEC wins average is the best in league history, and her .744 SEC winning percentage (160-55) is second only to Tennessee’s Pat Summitt (.874) in league history.
South Carolina has been a regular contender for SEC regular-season championships since claiming its first one in 2013-14. In the last eight seasons, the Gamecocks have won the league five times – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020 – and finished second in the other three seasons. They were picked by the league’s coaches to add another title this season.
The Gamecocks are the only program with two 16-0 SEC seasons – 2016, 2020.
After struggling through its first 17 seasons in the powerful league, South Carolina turned a corner with the arrival of Dawn Staley. Under her tutelage, the Gamecocks are 160-55 (.744) in league play with the 160 wins accounting for 71.4 percent of the program’s 224 all-time SEC victories.
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 have drawn 11 of the 16 games with 10,000 or higher attendance this season, including all of the top six. South Carolina’s Jan. 27 game against Ole Miss posted the best attendance of the season at 13,973.
Excluding the COVID limited-attendance season of 2019-20, South Carolina has drawn at least 10,000 fans in 58 consecutive games dating back to the Nov. 10, 2017, season opener. In regular-season action (excluding NCAA Tournament games), the streak stretches to 93 games beginning on Jan. 2, 2015.