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Women's Hoops Heads to Aggieland for Sunday Night Tilt
Women's Basketball  . 

Women's Hoops Heads to Aggieland for Sunday Night Tilt

No. 1/1 South Carolina heads out for the first of two SEC games on the road in the upcoming week. The Gamecocks will take on Texas A&M on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on SEC Network.

Women's Basketball at Texas A&M

South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina Gamecocks
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M Aggies
Reed Arena | College Station, TX

The Texas A&M Series
The Gamecocks are 10-4 all-time against Texas A&M with 10 wins in the last 11 games, including the last three.

The Gamecocks opened SEC play in 2022-23 against the Aggies, posting a 76-34 win at Colonial Life Arena on Dec. 29, 2022. South Carolina’s bench logged a lot of minutes in the game with then-sophomore Sania Feagin posting 11 points and six rebounds in her 18:30 on the court. The Gamecock defense locked down, allowing the Aggies to shoot just 23.5 percent from the field.

By the Numbers
+8.8 – South Carolina is second in the SEC with a +8.8 rebounding margin in league games this season.

9.0 – Junior Sania Feagin turned in 9.0 points per game in last week’s wins, shooting 72.7 percent from the field.

+32.0 – The Gamecocks lead the SEC with a +32.0 scoring margin in league games while leading the league in scoring offense (88.3) and defense (56.3).

Gamecock Notables

  • South Carolina’s offense is getting a lot of attention this season, but the Gamecock defense continues to be the centerpiece of the team’s success, ranking third in the nation in scoring defense (51.4 ppg) and leading the country in field goal percentage defense (.293). It has held eight teams under 60 points, including one ranked team (at UNC, Nov. 30) and two SEC foes.

  • Seven Gamecocks are shooting at least 50.0 percent from the field on the season. In SEC action, three are shooting at least 60.0 percent – Te-Hina Paopao (.656), Bree Hall (.629) and Sania Feagin (.615).

  • In addition to the Gamecocks’ four double-digit scorers, three others average at least 9.2 points – Chloe Kitts (9.9), Raven Johnson (9.5), Ashlyn Watkins (9.2).

  • South Carolina’s bench is fourth in the nation with 34.3 points per game, including 30.8 points per SEC game.

  • The Gamecocks are fourth in the nation in rebounding margin (+15.3). They have been out-rebounded just once this season (at UNC, Nov. 30) and have had at least a +20.0 rebounding margin six times.

  • National Player of the Year candidate Kamilla Cardoso has four double-doubles in her last five games, during which she averaged 10.8 points and 11.6 rebounds. She added 3.2 assists per game in that stretch. She is sixth in the SEC with 3.3 offensive rebounds per game, on which she scores 2.6 points per game.

  • Te-Hina Paopao and Bree Hall are the Gamecocks’ top scorers in SEC action (14.5 ppg each) and the top two shooters in league play, ranking first and second, respectively, in both overall percentage (.656 and .629) and 3-point percentage (.688 and .667).

  • Sophomore Ashlyn Watkins is making a push for SEC Sixth Woman of the Year with her scoring (9.2 ppg), rebounding (7.1 rpg, 12th in SEC) and blocks per game (2.9, 8th in NCAA).

Preview graphic at Texas A&M, 1/21/24, MiLaysia Fulwiley

Opponent Files
South Carolina’s regular-season schedule includes five non-conference games against teams ranked at the time of the game or in at least one of the two national polls this week, the second most among ranked teams. Four of those games came in the first five weeks of the season – against #10/10 Notre Dame (W, 100-71),  #14/11 Maryland (W, 114-76), at #24/24 North Carolina (W, 65-58), against #11/7 Utah (78-69).

The Gamecocks’ schedule is ranked the 26th toughest in the nation with opponents posting a .668 winning percentage. South Carolina’s NET non-conference schedule is 12th. The Gamecocks’ seven wins against NET top-50 teams are tied for the most in the country.

Looking ahead, South Carolina has two more games against teams currently ranked in both national polls – at #10/9 LSU (Jan. 25) and #9/10 UConn (Feb. 11).

Block Party
South Carolina annually ranks among the best shot blocking teams in the country and leads the way again this season at 9.1 blocks per game. The Gamecocks have blocked 19.9 percent of their opponents’ 2-point attempts this season, which leads the nation.

The Gamecocks have posted the top three shot-blocking games in the nation this season, led by their school record-tying 17 against Presbyterian (Dec. 16).

The SEC’s top two shot blockers – Kamilla Cardoso (2.94) and Ashlyn Watkins (2.88) – are ranked seventh and eighth, respectively, in the nation. In SEC action, Watkins’ number jumps to 3.3 blocks per game to rank second in the league.

All but one Gamecock has blocked at least one shot this season, including guard MiLaysia Fulwiley who averages 1.1 on the season to rank 13th in the SEC.

Glass Cleaners
The Gamecocks continue dominate the glass, leading the nation with 49.1 rebounds per game. According to Her Hoop Stats, South Carolina is fifth in the nation in rebounding percentage, securing 59.2 percent of the opportunities actually rebounded.

Their offensive glass work is equally strong, ranking 10th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage at 40.4 (Her Hoop Stats). The Gamecocks’ 14.1 offensive boards have yielded 16.9 second-chance points, turning each offensive board into an average of 1.20 points. Against ranked opponents, that efficiency improves to 1.44 points per offensive board.

Three Gamecocks are among the SEC’s top-20 rebounders, led by Kamilla Cardoso’s 10.6 average, which ranks 18th in the nation (4th in SEC). Ashlyn Watkins has surged into 12th in the league with 7.1 rebounds per game, including 8.0 per SEC game to rank 10th in that stat. Chloe Kitts is next in line at 6.4 per game to rank 19th in th SEC.

Cardoso’s 3.3 offensive boards per game are sixth in the SEC, and she scores on 43.3 percent of those rebounds. Watkins is next in line with 2.8 offensive rebounds per game to rank 10th in the league.

The Full-wiley
Freshman guard MiLaysia Fulwiley arrived on her hometown campus with fanfare befitting her high school highlight reel and her No. 13 ranking in the recruiting class. Often soft-spoken off the court, her game shouts from the rooftops in support of Staley calling her a “generational player” who can do things with a basketball no one else can do. Her creativity on the court keeps fans glued to their seats regardless of the score.

On the biggest stage for her college debut in Paris, Fulwiley dazzled international fans and NBA legends alike with the style in her 17 points, six assists and six steals against #10/10 Notre Dame (Nov. 6). Columbia anxiously awaited her home debut, which was a 12-point, 2-assist, 2-block, 2-steal effort in just 15 minutes against #14/11 Maryland (Nov. 12). Four days later, she needed just 16 minutes to put on a highlight-reel near double-double, torching rival Clemson for 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

On the season, Fulwiley is scoring 11.1 points per game on 46.5 percent shooting and averages 2.3 assists. Defensively, she has also been locked in, ranking 13th in the SEC with 1.1 blocks per game and coming in second on the team in steals with 1.5 per game.