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Gamecocks to Host Tigers Thursday Night
Gamecocks to Host Tigers Thursday Night
Women's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks to Host Tigers Thursday Night

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1/1 South Carolina is back at Colonial Life Arena for a Thursday night SEC tilt against Auburn. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. with the game streaming on SEC Network+.

 

Traffic Advisory
Fans, please be aware of traffic pattern changes around the arena. More info at: https://gamecocksonline.com/news/2022/12/09/changes-to-colonial-life-arena-traffic-patterns/

#1 South Carolina Gamecocks
#1 South Carolina Gamecocks
vs.
Auburn Tigers
Auburn Tigers
Columbia, S.C.

The Auburn Series
South Carolina leads the series 27-21 behind its current 12-game win streak over the Tigers. The overall mark includes a 15-7 mark at home, where the Gamecocks have won eight straight against Auburn.

In the Tigers’ last visit to Colonial Life Arena, #1 South Carolina poured on a 75-38 victory on Feb. 17, 2022, behind 20 points from Zia Cooke and a 10 points each from Aliyah Boston and Victaria Saxton, the former of whom also grabbed 12 rebounds.

 

By the Numbers

4 – The Gamecocks lead the nation in four stats, all defensive – opp. ppg (43.6), FG% defense (.267), 3FG% defense (.203), blocks avg. (9.9).

5 – Five Gamecocks average at least 6.0 points in SEC play this season, including three off the bench – Cooper, Cardoso, Amihere.

7 – Senior guard Zia Cooke has led the Gamecocks in scoring seven times in the 14 games this season.

Gamecock Notables

  • The South Carolina defense held its first two SEC opponents 20.4 points per game below their season average entering the game. The Gamecocks have allowed 42.5 points per SEC game so far this season, just slightly fewer than its NCAA-leading scoring defense of 43.6 ppg. In league play, the next best defensive team has been Ole Miss at 48.5 ppg allowed.

  • The Gamecocks are out-rebounding opponents by 21.1 boards per game this season and have been out-rebounded just once (at Stanford). Only three other teams have managed a single-digit rebounding deficit (UCLA, South Dakota St., Georgia).

  • Senior Zia Cooke stormed into SEC play with 22.5 ppg through the first week, ranking second in the league. It extends a hot-shooting streak that actually dates back six games, during which she averaged 18.8 points on 46.9 percent shooting. Her 2.3 assists per game in that stretch have added another 5.0 points per game, meaning she had her hands on 29.6 percent of the Gamecocks’ total offense (80.5 ppg)over the last six outings.

  • Senior Laeticia Amihere is among the most versatile players in the country with her ability to play all five positions on the floor, including holding her own defensively anywhere on the court. Over the last five games, Amihere has been outstanding, averaging 6.5 points on 64.3 percent shooting, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 assists in her 15.7 minutes per game in that stretch.

  • Reigning National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston is the program record holder for offensive rebounds in career SEC games (193), surpassing Aleighsa Welch on Monday at Georgia. This season, Boston’s 3.21 offensive boards per game overall are third in the league and include 3.0 per SEC game, which is ninth in the conference.

Zia Cooke
1

Zia Cooke

Guard

5'9"  /  Senior

Brea Beal
12

Brea Beal

Guard

6'1"  /  Senior

Aliyah Boston
4

Aliyah Boston

Forward

6'5"  /  Senior

Victaria Saxton
5

Victaria Saxton

Forward

6'2"  /  Senior

Kierra Fletcher
41

Kierra Fletcher

Guard

5'9"  /  Graduate Student

Raven Johnson
25

Raven Johnson

Guard

5'8"  /  Redshirt Freshman

Bree Hall
23

Bree Hall

Guard

6'0"  /  Sophomore

Kamilla Cardoso
10

Kamilla Cardoso

Center

6'7"  /  Junior

Ranking Review
The Gamecocks opened this season atop both the AP and the USA Today/WBCA Coaches’ Polls for the third time in as many seasons and remained there this week.

In the AP Poll, the Gamecocks’ 53 total weeks at No. 1 are the fourth most of any program in that poll’s history (third place 83, La. Tech). Their current 28-week streak in that spot is the fifth-longest in the polls’ history (fourth place 30, UConn). South Carolina has appeared in each of the last 196 AP Polls, giving it the fourth-longest active streak in the nation, which dates back to Dec. 10, 2012.

In the USA Today/WBCA Coaches’ Poll, South Carolina has been in the top 10 since claiming the No. 10 spot in the 2019-20 preseason poll. It has been No. 1 in that poll 38 times in the last nine seasons.

South Carolina also sits atop the NET rankings this week, thanks in part to five road wins – the third-most in the country. 

 

Paint Production
South Carolina’s paint dominance predated the signing class of 2019, but the Gamecocks have certainly perfected it since the group’s arrival, scoring 53.6 percent of their points in the paint since the start of the 2019-20 season.

The 2019-20 team had the highest final paint points average (42.4 ppg) in this stretch, but the 2020-21 team posted the highest percentage of paint points (55.1%). 

So far this season, the Gamecocks have netted 46.6 points per game in the paint, accounting for 57.1 percent of their offense. 

Defensively, South Carolina controls the paint as well, allowing opponents to shoot just 32.1 percent in the lane to average 18.4 points in that area.