Women's Hoops Back at Home Saturday
No. 1/1 South Carolina plays its final home game of 2023 Saturday afternoon as the Gamecocks host Presbyterian at 1 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena.
- Season ticket holders can attend the season’s first Chalk Talk prior to the game. The session in the McGuire Club will start at 11:30 a.m. with early entrance to the arena via the College Street entrance.
- Fans can take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus on the concourse above the box office 12-1:30 p.m.
- Selected concessions items (hot dog, popcorn, regular fountain soda and bottled water) will be free at this game when using the Forever Garnet App.
The Presbyterian Series
The Gamecocks have won both previous games against the Blue Hose – both played in the early years of the Dawn Staley era at South Carolina. Both games were played in Columbia and both decided by 28 points.
By the Numbers
8 – Eight Gamecocks shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field, including four guards.
10 – South Carolina is top 10 in the nation in 10 different stats this season, including seven top-5 rankings.
61.7 – The Gamecocks shot 61.7 percent from the field over two games last week, including hitting at leas 70.0 percent in three different quarters.
South Carolina’s offense is as balanced as it has been in many seasons. Four Gamecocks average double-figure points, including one off the bench, and three others are netting at least 9.0 points per game.
The Gamecocks’ bench ranks fourth in the nation with 35.9 points per game. Meanwhile, South Carolina’s starters are outscoring opponent starters 55.9-42.4 points per game.
South Carolina scores 55.7 percent of its points in the paint and 22.5 percent from 3-point range.
Gamecock guards account for 52.1 percent of the team’s scoring this season (47.8 ppg).
South Carolina is second in the nation with 51.0 rebounds per game. Per Her Hoop Stats, the Gamecocks are sixth in the nation with a .610 rebounding percentage. South Carolina is eighth in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, grabbing 42.1 percent of its own misses.
Senior Te-Hina Paopao is putting up career-best efficiency numbers so far this season, hitting 50.7 percent from the field, including an SEC-best 51.2 percent from 3-point range to rank 15th in the nation. Her 13.1 points per game are just shy of her career mark but are coming in the fewest minutes per game in her four-year career.
National Player of the Year candidate Kamilla Cardoso is fifth in the nation with an SEC-best 3.11 blocks per game, 14th in rebounds per game (10.89 ), 16th in double-doubles (5) and 17th in field goal percentage (.619). Her scoring and rebounding averages are the best of her college career, including her All-ACC First Team freshman year at Syracuse.
Sophomore Chloe Kitts has been solid throughout the season. Her 10.5 rebounds per game over last week’s wins move her into 20th in the SEC with 6.7 boards per game to go with her 10.1 points per game.
Home Sweet Home
The Gamecocks are 518-165 (.758) in home games (some records prior to 1976-77 did not include location of games). Current head coach Dawn Staley is 206-34 at home with that .858 winning percentage is the best in program history.
Playing in its 22nd season at Colonial Life Arena, South Carolina boasts a 269-67 (.801) record in the building, including four undefeated seasons since 2013-14. Staley’s share of that record is 203-34 (.857).
South Carolina currently has a program-record 47-game home winning streak that began on Dec. 17, 2020
Keep It a Buck
South Carolina has scored at least 100 points in five games this season, matching the program record for 100-point games in a season, originally set by the 1978-79 team.
The Gamecocks opened the season hitting the 100-point mark in three straight games, the longest such streak in program history.
The Gamecocks’ 114 points against Maryland were the second-most in program history and the most against a ranked opponent.
South Carolina has long dominated the paint, and this season’s numbers have not fallen off from that tradition, despite all the attention to its 3-point shooting. The season kicked off with 70 of the team’s 100 points against #10/10 Notre Dame (Nov. 6) coming in the paint and four other games have included at least half the total points coming in the paint.
The Gamecocks are out-scoring opponents in the paint 51.1 to 23.3. They are shooting 60.8 percent in the paint compared to opponents’ 35.6 percent accuracy inside. So far this season, the Gamecocks have scored 55.7 percent of their points in the paint.
Last season, South Carolina averaged 43.8 points in the paint to account for 54.6 percent of its offense.
Senior transfer Te-Hina Paopao is often mentioned by her teammates as a leader, despite her summer arrival to the program. The three-time All-Pac-12 selection illustrated that leadership beautifully in the season opener against #10/10 Notre Dame (Nov. 6). As the starter with the most experience at the position, the steady guard led the way in the opening 10 minutes with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, two assists and two steals to keep the Gamecocks within a point at the end of the period.
That steady hand has not wavered since, and Paopao is 18th in the SEC with 13.1 points per game. Her SEC-best 51.2 percent 3-point accuracy (22-of-43) ranks 15th in the nation, and she is fourth in the SEC with 2.75 made 3s per game as well.
In addition to her five games of hitting 50.0 percent of her threes, she made a sterling 4-of-5 (.800) from beyond the arc against Clemson (Nov. 16). She was named MVP of the Gamecocks’ win over #11/7 Utah (Dec. 10) after her third 3 of the game turned back a Utah rally midway through the fourth quarter.
Not just an outside shooter, Paopao is second on the team in assists, ranking 10th in the SEC with 3.5 per game, including three games with five or more. The Gamecocks are scoring 8.4 points per game off Paopao’s assists, putting her fingerprints on 215 points per game – a number that rises to 26.0 against ranked opponents.