Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+
Gamecocks Locked in for Final Four
Women's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks Locked in for Final Four

DALLAS – No. 1/1 South Carolina will take on No. 3/3 Iowa Friday night in the second game of the NCAA Women’s Final Four session at American Airlines Center.


#1 South Carolina Gamecocks
#1 South Carolina Gamecocks
#2 Iowa Hawkeyes
#2 Iowa Hawkeyes
Dallas, TX

The Iowa Series
The Gamecocks and Hawkeyes have met just once before in women’s basketball. In a tournament on Hilton Head Island, S.C. on Dec. 29, 1989, then-No. 20 South Carolina upset then-No. 4 Iowa 82-76.

Gamecock Notables

  • After three defensive masterpieces to open the NCAA Tournament, the Gamecocks won an offensive shootout against #7/7 Maryland to advance to their fifth Final Four in the last eight tournaments, including each of the last three.

  • South Carolina’s +20.3 rebounding margin leads the nation and would rank second in NCAA history behind Baylor’s +20.7 margin in 2017.

  • The Gamecocks’ SEC-record 321 blocks this season has their blocks per game average (8.9) within striking distance of breaking the program’s NCAA-record 8.6 blocks per game set in 2020.

  • South Carolina’s 48.5 rebounding average, 20.0 offensive rebounds per game and +18.2 rebounding margin in NCAA Tournament games leads the tournament field. 

  • In nine games against ranked opponents, Aliyah Boston has averaged 15.8 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.6 assists – all team highs. For the season, Boston is the only player in the country to rank among the top six in both offensive (4th) and defensive (6th) player rating – best among national player of the year candidates.

  • Brea Beal‘s strong season has gotten even stronger in NCAA Tournament games. Through four tournament games, she is third on the team with 9.0 points per game, second in rebounding (5.8 rpg), tied for the team lead in steals (5) and is second in assists per game (3.5).

  • Raven Johnson‘s 3.5 assists per game have come while playing just 18.4 minutes per game. The combination has her ranked 13th in the nation in assists per 40 minutes at 7.5.

  • Dawn Staley was named Naismith Coach of the Year for the third time in the last four seasons. 

Dial Up the Defense
Head coach Dawn Staley has always put a premium on defense, but the Gamecocks have taken it to another level over the last four seasons (2019-20 to present), during which opponents have scored just 53.8 points per game with 51 of those 137 games (37.2 percent) coming against ranked opponents.

This season, South Carolina is third in the nation in scoring defense (51.1 ppg), is second in field goal percentage defense (.317), and leads the nation in blocks per game (8.9). Out-scoring opponents by 29.5 points per game, the Gamecocks also lead the nation in scoring margin. That margin includes a +26.4 advantage in SEC games and +19.0 mark against ranked teams.

No team has reached its scoring average against the Gamecocks this season with the closest being against Kentucky (Feb. 2), which missed its average by 1.2 points. Only four other teams have come within single digits of their average (at #5/4 UConn, -3.2; Georgia, -4.4; vs. Arkansas, -7.2; vs. Maryland, -4.3). 

On the season, opposing teams have scored an average of 20.4 points below their usual points per game, including a 17.7 average in SEC games and 19.9 against ranked foes.

Bench Mob
South Carolina’s depth has been a hot topic this season, and it has not disappointed. 

Averaging 90.6 minutes per game, the Gamecock bench has been especially productive offensively, averaging 36.0 points to account for 44.7 percent of the Gamecocks’ total offense. By comparison, last season’s bench netted just 21.1 points per game for 29.8 percent of the offense. 

Only four opponents’ benches have out-scored South Carolina’s this season – South Dakota State (Dec. 15, 19-15), at Georgia (Jan. 2, 21-19), at Ole Miss (Feb. 19, 17-15), Georgia (Feb. 26, 29-24). The Gamecock bench has tied or out-scored an opponent’s starters 14 times and has tied or out-scored its own starters 11 times. 

The bench’s offensive production has come in key games with this season’s group averaging 31.6 points against ranked opponents (39.9 percent), including some timely buckets in tight games, 32.8 points in SEC play (41.0 percent) and 31.6 points per postseason game (40.9 percent).

On the boards, the bench has grabbed 49.6 percent of the season’s rebounds (22.3 per game). Kamilla Cardoso leads that group with her 8.4 boards per game, which ranks her third in the SEC.

Press Conference