Women's Hoops Back at Home Sunday
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1/1 South Carolina hosts its first Sunday SEC game of the season this week with Missouri coming to Colonial Life Arena for a 1 p.m. tipoff on ESPN.
The Goodwill donation truck outside the arena before the game collecting clothing donations. Get a free general admission ticket to the game with any clothing donation.
The Missouri Series
South Carolina leads the series 8-4, including a 5-0 record at Colonial Life Arena, but the Tigers claimed the most recent meeting between the two teams.
In last season’s SEC opener on Dec. 30, the top-ranked South Carolina dropped a 70-69 overtime decision at Mizzou. The Tigers surged ahead with an efficient second quarter to take a 32-26 lead into halftime and held off the charging Gamecocks with a last-second buzzer beater by Lauren Hansen in overtime.
By the Numbers
26.4 – South Carolina is out-scoring opponents in the paint by 26.4 points per game on the season.
51.1 – The Gamecocks have shot 51.1 percent from the field over the last three games, including two games over 63 percent.
100 – Aliyah Boston has scored in double figures in 100 of her 118 career games played.
South Carolina’s size and relentless physicality at every position have taken their toll on opponents by the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks are shooting 53.8 percent from the field in the final 10 minutes this season, including 62.3 percent against SEC foes. That efficiency translates to a +10.4 average scoring margin in the fourth quarter. Through five SEC games, South Carolina has out-scored its opponent by 16.8 points per second half compared to a +12.8 average advantage in the first half.
The Gamecocks are scoring more than twice as many second-chance points than their opponents this season. Seventh in the nation with 17.41 offensive boards per game, South Carolina reels in 47.9 percent of its missed shots and averages 18.5 second-chance points per game while allowing just 7.3 such points per game.
Reigning National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston is earning her repeat of that title through defenses expressly schemed to slow her down. The senior has unlocked the key to that over her last three games. Coming off back-to-back double-doubles, which bring her within two of the program record for career double-doubles, Boston averaged 15.3 points and 11.7 rebounds over the last three outing, shooting 61.3 percent and averaging 3.3 blocks and 2.7 assists in that stretch.
Zia Cooke’s string of nine straight games scoring in double figures includes a pair of 20-point games and a 30-point outing. She is fifth in the SEC with 18.2 points per league outing.
Redshirt-freshman Raven Johnson has been locked in over the last three outings, handing out 5.3 assists per game while netting 6.0 points per game in the stretch. Her 2.62 assist-to-turnover ratio this season is 13th in the nation.
The Long and Short of It
With 10 Gamecocks standing 6-feet or taller, South Carolina’s roster is among the tallest in the country. The 14 Gamecocks range from 5-foot-8 (Raven Johnson, Olivia Thompson) to 6-foot-7 (Kamilla Cardoso).
South Carolina’s 14 players stand an average of 72.9 inches tall, which is second only to Kansas State’s 73.1-inch average. Stanford is next in line at 72.7 inches with Tennessee coming in at 72.1.
(Ranking based on responses of question submitted to all NCAA teams to reply if average 72.0 or higher)
“O” – That’s Good!
While retaining its sterling reputation as a defensive stalwart, South Carolina’s offense is clamoring for its share of the spotlight this season. The Gamecocks are top 15 in the nation in scoring offense (81.7 ppg) and field goal percentage (.478), and their efficiency is even higher in SEC action with a league-leading 48.4 percent shooting. Over the last three games they have shot 51.1 percent.
South Carolina has shot over 50.0 percent in a game eight times this season and fallen below 40 percent just four times. Last season’s National Championship team hit the 50.0 percent mark just seven times all season.
Five of the Gamecocks’ six post players are shooting over 50.0 percent, led by Sania Feagin’s 65.5 percent efficiency. In SEC games, 13 Gamecocks are shooting 40.0 percent or better.