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Women's Hoops at Tennessee Thursday
Women's Basketball  . 

Women's Hoops at Tennessee Thursday

No. 1/1 South Carolina travels to Knoxville to play Tennessee in a 7 p.m. tipoff at Thompson-Boling Arena on Thu., Feb. 15.

The Tennessee Series
The Gamecocks are 12-49 all-time against the Lady Vols, but the mark is 11-12 in the Dawn Staley era (beginning 2008-09) including wins in the last four and seven of the last eight.

The two met twice last season with the Gamecocks rallying for a 73-60 win in Knoxville (Feb. 23) before a wire-to-wire 74-58 victory in the 2023 SEC Tournament title game in Greenville, S.C.


By the Numbers
6 – South Carolina’s six wins over ranked opponents lead the nation and came by an average of 17.8 points.

+10.6 – The Gamecocks have out-scored their opponents in the second quarter by an average of 10.6 points – the most of any quarter.

14 – South Carolina has had at least five players score in double figures in 14 of its 23 games this season.

Gamecock Notables

  • South Carolina leads the nation in field goal percentage defense, allowing just 31.1 percent shooting which helps put them atop the country in defensive rebounds at 33.2 per game.

  • In SEC action, the Gamecocks lead the league in categories on both sides of the ball – 86.3 points per game, 58.8 points allowed per game, .510 field goal percentage, .340 field goal percentage defense, 17.2 assists per game and 7.5 blocks per game.

  • South Carolina is third in the nation in scoring at 88.6 points per game and has been held under 70 points just once this season.

  • In two games last week without starting center Kamilla Cardoso, the Gamecocks still out-rebounded their opponents by 11.5 per game, out-scored them in the paint by 24.0 points per game and blocked 8.5 shots per game. While consisting of just four players, the Gamecock bench still out-scored its two opponents’ benches by an average of 21.0 points.

  • National Player of the Year candidate Kamilla Cardoso returns the Gamecocks after earning a spot on the All-Star 5 at her FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament behind 15.3 points and a tournament-high 11.0 rebounds per game.

  • Columbia products MiLaysia Fulwiley and Ashlyn Watkins have been on fire over the last five games, averaging 12.8 and 12.0 points, respecitvely, over that stretch. Fulwiley added 2.2 assists per game in those five wins while Watkins posted 9.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in that time.

  • Senior Te-Hina Paopao led the Gamecocks in scoring in last week’s two wins, netting 13.5 points per game on 62.5 percent shooting, including 7-of-11 (.636) from 3-point range to help her return to the nation’s top spot in 3-point percentage at .500 for the season.

The Staley File
In her 24th season as a head coach, Dawn Staley has a .762 (597-186) winning percentage, which ranks ninth in the nation among active head coaches with at least 15 seasons of experience and seventh among those with at least 20 years in the position.

The unanimous 2020 National Coach of the Year, Staley became the first person to win both Naismith Player of the Year and a Naismith Coach of the Year and the first Black head coach to win multiple national championships in men’s or women’s basketball. She has been named national coach of the year by at least one organization four times, including three times in the last four seasons.

In her 16th season leading the Gamecocks, Staley is the program’s all-time winningest coach (425) with a program-record 12 postseason appearances (11 NCAA/1 WNIT). She accounts for all five of the Gamecocks’ Final Four appearances (2015, 2017, 2021, 2022, 2023) and the first NCAA National Championships in program history (2017, 2022).

After claiming seven SEC regular-season titles, Staley has won 193 SEC games, the most among active league coaches and third all-time – trailing just Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees Andy Landers (Georgia, 273) and Pat Summitt (Tennessee, 306). Her 12.2 SEC wins average per season is the best in league history among coaches with more than three years in the league, and her .778 SEC winning percentage (193-55) is second only to Summitt (.874) among coaches in that group.


Bench Mob
The quality of South Carolina’s depth ranks among the best in the nation. The Gamecocks’ six-woman bench is third in the nation with an SEC-best 33.5 points per game. The South Carolina bench has out-scored its opponents’ starters seven times this season, and the Gamecocks’ top scorer in a game has been off the bench seven times.

The Gamecock bench has outscored its counterparts by 20.1 points per game, including a +16.7 margin in SEC action. The group has been most dominant against ranked opponents, outpacing that group’s bench by 21.0 points per game.

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

The Gamecocks are one of two teams in the nation ranked among the top 25 in both scoring offense (3rd, 88.6 ppg) and defense (10th, 54.3 ppg).

South Carolina is second in the nation in field goal percentage (.512) and first in field goal percentage defense (.311). In SEC action, the Gamecocks lead the league in both categories – .510 field goal percentage, .340 field goal percentage allowed.

The Gamecock offense is balanced as well 54.5 percent of points coming in the paint (48.3 ppg). The guards are scoring 53.5 percent of the points (47.3 ppg) and forwards adding the remaining 41.2 points per game. South Carolina averages 44.2 points in the first half and 44.4 in the second.