Four-Game Homestand Starts Sunday
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1/1 South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena on Sun., Nov. 27, for the first time since its season opener. The Gamecocks open a four-game home stand against Hampton with a noon tipoff with the game streaming on SEC Network+. The first Chalk Talk of the season is scheduled for Sunday as well, beginning at 10:45 a.m. for the first 300 season-ticket holders to arrive. Early entry for attendees is available at the College Street entrance at 10:30 a.m.
The Gamecocks are back in Colonial Life Arena after four straight road games – the program’s longest stretch of true road games since 1986-87. South Carolina’s one home game in the first six games of this season are the fewest since the 1981-82 team opened with a neutral game and five road games. The Gamecocks will have to hit the road just one more time before January.
South Carolina’s defense is among the best in the nation again this season, ranking second in NCAA Div. I in opponent scoring (45.0) and opponent field goal percentage (.271). Only two teams have shot better than 30.0 percent (at #17/18 Maryland 30.3; at #2/2 Stanford 40.9).
Three of the Gamecocks’ top five scorers so far this season come off the bench – Ashlyn Watkins (8.4 ppg), Laeticia Amihere (8.2), Kamilla Cardoso (7.8).
Leading scorer Zia Cooke’s 14.8 points per game aren’t her only contributions to the offense. She is second on the team in assists with those passes yielding another 6.2 points per game, meaning Cooke has had her hands on 24.9 percent of the Gamecocks’ total offense. That number is highest against ranked opponents – 31.2 percent (24.5 ppg).
Reigning National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston has scored in double figures in 91 of her 106 career games played – 85.8 percent. Her 64 career double-doubles lead all NCAA active players across all divisions.
Evidence of the all-court impact of senior guard Brea Beal this season shows up best in her NCAA rankings – eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.8, 1st in SEC) and 22nd in blocks per game (2.4, 3rd in SEC). She is second on the team in rebounding (5.8) and is shooting a team-best 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from 3-point range.
By the Numbers
8 – Eight different Gamecocks have scored in double figures at least once this season.
47.2 – South Carolina’s bench has accounted for 47.2 percent of the offense (39.8 ppg) so far this season.
51.5 – The Gamecocks have assisted on 51.5 percent of their made field goals this season
The Hampton Series
The Gamecocks have won all four games in the series, which began on Nov. 22, 2012, in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., in the Paradise Jam. Two seasons later, the Gamecocks traveled to Hampton before the last two games were played in Columbia.
In the most recent meeting on Nov. 20, 2016, South Carolina claimed a 92-38 victory.
Home Sweet Home
The Gamecocks are 497-165 (.751) all-time in home games, including a 185-34 mark under head coach Dawn Staley. That .845 winning percentage is second among the program’s all-time head coaches (Pam Parsons (41-7) .854).
Playing in its 20th season at Colonial Life Arena, South Carolina boasts a 248-67 (.787) record in the building, including four undefeated seasons since 2013-14. Staley’s share of that record is 182-34 (.843).