Women's Hoops Hosts Liberty Sunday
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1/1 South Carolina closes out exam week and a four-game homestand on Sun., Dec. 11, taking on Liberty at 2 p.m. The game, which will stream on SEC Network+, will feature a special celebration of Colonial Life Arena’s 20th Anniversary.
Fans, please be aware of traffic pattern changes around the arena beginning this weekend. More info at: https://gamecocksonline.com/news/2022/12/09/changes-to-colonial-life-arena-traffic-patterns/
South Carolina continues to be a dominant force on the glass, ranking second in the nation in rebounds per game (51.1) and rebounding margin (+20.9). The offensive glass work (17.9 per game) is eighth in the nation as the Gamecocks clean up 48.1 percent of their own missed shots. Kamilla Cardoso (3.43) and Aliyah Boston (3.38) lead the way on the offensive glass, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively in the SEC.
The Gamecocks have stamped their authority in the paint for several seasons, and this season’s dominance ranks among their best so far. With 503. paint points per game, 61.0 percent of the offense comes from that space with a 59.5 percent field goal percentage. Defensively, the NCAA-best 10.0 blocked shots per game have contributed to hold opponents to just 32.8 percent shooting in the paint for 19.0 points per game.
Six different Gamecocks have led the team in scoring at least once this season and five have been the top rebounder at least once. Nine have scored in double-figures at least once with eight of those doing it multiple times. Five of those eight come off the bench.
Reigning National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston continues to contribute to the Gamecocks’ success in every aspect of the game, despite the relentless defensive schemes designed to stop her. The team’s top scorer (12.9) and rebounder (9.6), she is tied for the team lead in blocks (13) and is handing out 1.8 assists per game as well.
SEC Player of the Week Kamilla Cardoso has lifted her game this season, already matching last season’s double-double number (2) and with five double-figure scoring games already, she is just one shy of her total last season. The junior center is second on the team in rebounding (7.6) and third in scoring (10.9) while shooting a team-best 70.8 percent.
By the Numbers
3 – South Carolina’s bench has outscored its starters three times this season, including two of the last three games.
5.3 – Over the last three games, Kamilla Cardoso averaged 5.3 points off her own offensive rebounds.
10.0 – The Gamecocks lead the nation with 10.0 blocks per game – the second place team has just 6.9.
The Liberty Series
The Gamecocks and Lady Flames have met twice before, both times in a tournament setting and both South Carolina victories.
The first meeting between the two programs came in the 2022 NCAA Tournament with the host Gamecocks claiming a 69-61 victory to start the program’s first ever run into the Elite Eight.
The most recent meeting was in a regular-season tournament at Minnesota in 2014-15. South Carolina topped Liberty 84-44 on Dec. 21, 2014.
South Carolina was among the top rebounding teams in the country in 2021-22 and has not dropped off this season.
South Carolina’s current +20.9 rebounding margin is second in the nation as is its 51.1 rebounding average. The Gamecocks’ 17.9 offensive boards per game are eighth-best in the nation and have yielded 17.4 second-chance points per game.
Four Gamecocks average at least 4.0 rebounds, including a pair of reserves in Kamilla Cardoso (7.6) and Ashlyn Watkins (4.5) to rank second and fourth on the team, respectively. Two Gamecocks are among the top five offensive rebounders in the SEC with Cardoso leading the way in fourth with 3.4 and Aliyah Boston coming in fifth with 3.4 per game.
South Carolina‘s defense has held an opponent to single digits in a quarter 11 times through eight games so far this season, including four fourth quarters and two second quarters as the Gamecocks’ constant defensive pressure wears opponents down. The scoring differential is largest in the fourth quarter with South Carolina out-scoring opponents by 10.4 points per final period.
Individually, four Gamecocks have scored double digits in a single quarter – Kamilla Cardoso (2), Zia Cooke (1), Sania Feagin (1) and Ashlyn Watkins (1). Feagin’s 11 points in the fourth quarter against ETSU (Nov. 7) is the best of the season.