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No. 1 Gamecocks Set for Monday Night Action
Women's Basketball  . 

No. 1 Gamecocks Set for Monday Night Action

No. 1/1 South Carolina continues SEC action Monday night, hosting Kentucky at Colonial Life Arena in a 7 p.m. tipoff on SEC Network.

Fan Information

  • A “Garnet Out” is planned for the game, so fans are encouraged to wear garnet to show support for the team.


The Kentucky Series
The Gamecocks are 39-35 all-time against Kentucky, including wins in eight of the last nine meetings and 17 of the last 19. South Carolina holds a 23-10 edge in games played in Columbia.

After falling to the Wildcats in the 2022 SEC Tournament title game, South Carolina swept Kentucky in the 2022-23 regular season, winning by an average of 23.5 points.

By the Numbers
20.0 – South Carolina blocks 20.0 percent of its opponents’ 2-point field goal attempts, which leads the nation.

36.2 – Over the last five games, the Gamecocks’ trio of starting guards has combined to score 36.2 points per game.

54.9 – In SEC games, South Carolina is scoring 54.9 percent of its points in the paint.

Gamecock Notables

  • South Carolina, playing the 26th-toughest schedule in the country, leads the nation in scoring margin (+37.3). In SEC play, it leads the league with a +22.0 margin.

  • The Gamecocks’ four wins over ranked opponents are the second-most in the country this season. Three of those wins were against top-15 foes.

  • South Carolina leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.426) behind two of the nation’s top-five percentage shooters – Te-Hina Paopao (1st, .563) and Bree Hall (5th, .500). The duo’s numbers in SEC action are even better with Hall leading the league at 81.8 percent and Paopao coming in third at 69.2 percent.

  • Even with the eye-popping 3-point shooting, the Gamecocks continue to dominate the paint, out-scoring opponents in that space by 26.4 points per game overall and by 18.7 points per SEC game.

  • Third in the nation in field goal percentage, seven South Carolina players shoot at least 50.0 percent.

  • The Gamecock bench ranks fourth in the country with 33.7 points per game.

  • Junior Bree Hall leads the team in scoring in SEC games with her 17.0 points per game ranking 12th in the league. She is also the league leader in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

  • Seniors Kamilla Cardoso and Te-Hina Paopao were named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List last week. Cardoso’s season includes four top-20 stats – blocks per game (9th, 2.8), double-doubles (18th, 8), rebounds per game (19th, 10.5), field goal percentage (19th, .595). Paopao is the nation’s top 3-point shooter (.563) and is the Gamecocks second-leading scorer (12.6 ppg) and distributor (3.9 apg).

  • In SEC action, Ashlyn Watkins is second on the team in rebounds with 8.0 per game, which ranks 10th in the league.

Preview graphic vs. Kentucky, 1/15/24, Ashlyn Watkins

All About Balance
South Carolina’s success this season has been built off excellence on both sides of the ball.

The Gamecocks are the only team in the nation ranked among the top 30 in both scoring offense (5th, 89.7 ppg) and defense (9th, 52.4 ppg).

South Carolina is third in the nation in field goal percentage (.513) and leads the nation in field goal percentage defense. In SEC action, the Gamecocks lead the league in field goal percentage (.495) and field goal percentage defense (.343).

Offensively, the Gamecocks are also balanced with the guards scoring 53.3 percent of the team’s points and the post players accounting for 46.7 percent (41.9 ppg)


Three for All
Long the Achilles heel for the Gamecocks, outside shooting has become a steady weapon for this season’s team. The Gamecocks lead the nation in accuracy, hitting 42.6 percent from 3-point range behind two of the nation’s top five percentage shooters in Te-Hina Paopao (1st, .563) and Bree Hall (5th, .500). In SEC action, those numbers rise to 47.6 percent for the team,  .818 for Hall, which leads the league, and .692 for Paopao, which ranks third.

South Carolina’s 3-point volume has gone up as well, ranking fifth in the SEC with 7.1 made threes per game. While the program record for made 3s per game is 9.2 set in 1993-94, the Staley era high is 5.8 in 2018-19.Paopao’s 2.9 made threes per game are 26th in the nation. She has hit at least two threes in every game this season and has four games of four made threes.

Hall’s 2.0 per game are seventh in the SEC, and that number rises to 3.0 makes per game in SEC action, which ranks second in the league.

Paint Production
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 seven other games have included at least half the total points coming in the paint.

The Gamecocks are out-scoring opponents in the paint 48.8 to 22.4 (+26.4) for the season and by +18.7 points per game in SEC action (46.7-28.0). They are shooting 58.7 percent in the paint compared to opponents’ 34.6 percent accuracy inside. So far this season, the Gamecocks have scored 54.4 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.

Ashlyn Swatkins
While Ashlyn Watkins’ athleticism never in question – she became the first Gamecock to dunk in a game last season at Clemson – the sophomore is bringing all sides of her game together in her second season..

Averaging 9.1 points and 7.0 rebounds, which rank 13th in the SEC. Her 2.8 offensive rebounds per game are ninth in the league, and her 55.6 percent shooting is second-best on the team. Defensively, Watkins is seventh in the nation with an SEC-best 2.9 blocks per game. And, all of that production has come in just 19.1 minutes per game.

In SEC action, Watkins’ rebounding and blocking go up dramatically to 8.0 boards and 3.7 blocks to rank 10th and second in the SEC, respectively.

Watkins has three double-doubles and at least three blocks in eight games, including a career-high six blocks against Presbyterian (Dec. 16) and at Florida (Jan. 4).

Her poise late at #24/24 North Carolina (Nov. 30) helped deliver the win with her six fourth-quarter points capped by a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left.