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Gamecocks and Wildcats Meet Thursday
Gamecocks and Wildcats Meet Thursday
Women's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks and Wildcats Meet Thursday

South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina Gamecocks
at
Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky Wildcats
Lexington, Ky

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1/1 South Carolina women’s basketball renews its annual rivalry with Kentucky on Thu., Jan. 12, in Lexington. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. with the game streaming on SEC Network+.

The Kentucky Series
South Carolina leads the series 37-35 after winning 15 of the last 17 meetings, but the Wildcats ended a six-game skid to the Gamecocks with a win in the 2022 SEC Tournament championship game in Nashville.

The Gamecocks are 13-20 against Kentucky in Lexington but have won the last seven games played on the Wildcats’ home court. Their last visit yielded a 59-50 decision on Feb. 10, 2022 to complete the regular-season sweep.

 

By the Numbers

1– Aliyah Boston needs one offensive rebound to match Aleighsa Welch’s South Carolina record for career offensive boards (449).

7– South Carolina has shot at least 50.0 from the field seven times this season, helping it to 18th in the nation in field goal percentage (.470).

62.8 – The Gamecocks have assisted on 62.8 percent of their made field goals over the last three games, lifting their season mark to 52.5.

Gamecock Notables

  • With a relentless, unforgiving defense that leads the nation in points allowed (44.0), South Carolina can win games scoring 80 or more points (8-0), in the 70s (5-0) or 60 or fewer (3-0).

  • The Gamecocks dominate the paint, scoring 45.6 points per game inside (56.4 percent of the offense) and allowing opponents just 19.5 points per game on 32.9 percent shooting in the paint.

  • South Carolina has been solid defending its turnovers this season, allowing just 8.4 points per game off its 13.8 turnovers per outing.

  • Reigning National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston has been a focal point of opposing teams all season but continues to power the Gamecocks’ success with her relentless effort. She ranks among the nation’s best in defensive wins shares (2.5, 2nd) and has lifted her game in SEC action with 2.3 blocked shots and 3.8 offensive rebounds per league game.

  • Zia Cooke has scored in double figures in the last eight games, including a 30-point outing and a 20-point game in the stretch. Her 17.75 ppg in SEC games ranks sixth in the league.

  • Senior Brea Beal continues to deliver in all categories for South Carolina, ranking second on the team in assists (2.4/gm) and third in rebounds (4.3/gm) and blocks (1.44/gm), In SEC play, her 12 assists are tied for the team lead, and her 3.00 assist-to-turnover ratio leads the league. Her scoring is up in conference play, too, with 5.5 points per SEC game compared to 4.9 on the season.

  • Redshirt-freshman Raven Johnson is settling into the season nicely, leading the SEC with a 2.40 assist-to-turnover ratio (35th in the nation). Her 3.3 assists per game include 3.0 per SEC outing. She found her shooting stroke at Mississippi State Sunday, hitting 3-of-6 from the field.

Rebounding Roundup
South Carolina is routinely among the top rebounding teams in the country and has not dropped off this season. 

South Carolina’s current +20.9 rebounding margin is second in the nation as its 50.8 rebounding average is third. The Gamecocks’ 17.88 offensive boards per game are fourth in the nation and have yielded 18.6 second-chance points per game. South Carolina is securing 48.2 percent of its own missed shots, which is second in the nation, while grabbing 75.5 percent of its opponents’ misses (14th).

Aliyah Boston (9.31, 2nd in SEC) and Kamilla Cardoso (7.87, 7th in SEC) lead the rebounding effort and, are two of the top three offensive rebounders in the SEC as well – 3.38 and 3.60 per game, respectively. 

 

Cooke-ing Time
South Carolina’s four-year starting shooting guard Zia Cooke has been mentioned among the best players in the country throughout her career, but the senior has been working toward a year that sees her physical talents meet the mental side of the game, and it appears 2022-23 is that season.

Cooke is the Gamecocks’ top scorer with 15.0 points per game (10th in SEC), has led the team in scoring eight times and scored in double figures in every game she has played more than 15 minutes. She has shot at least 45.0 percent from the field eight times. Her 17.8 points per SEC game rank sixth in the league.

Even with her increased scoring, Cooke has been distributing the ball well, too, ranking third on the team in assists (2.1 per game). With her own 15.0 points per game and teammates scoring 4.8 points per game off her assists, she has had her hands on 24.4 percent of the Gamecocks’ offense this season. That number goes up to 28.4 percent (147.8 ppg / 3.3 ppg) in SEC games.