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No. 1 Gamecocks Head to Kentucky Sunday
Women's Basketball  . 

No. 1 Gamecocks Head to Kentucky Sunday

No. 1/1 South Carolina opens a two-game road swing at Kentucky on Sun., Feb. 25, in a 3 p.m. tipoff from Rupp Arena on SEC Network.

The Kentucky Series
The Gamecocks are 39-35 all-time against Kentucky, including wins in nine of the last 10 meetings and 18 of the last 20.

South Carolina has won the last three meetings, including a 98-36 victory on Jan. 15 to open this season’s home-and-home series in Columbia. After a tight first quarter, the second saw the Gamecock defense lock down, allowing just 18.8 percent shooting, and the offense hit its stride with 64.7 percent shooting, for a 29-8 period to build a 25-point lead by halftime.


By the Numbers
2.7 – Ashlyn Watkins’ 2.7 offensive rebounds per SEC game are 10th in the league.

6 – South Carolina’s six wins over ranked opponents are the most in the nation.

+19.6 – The Gamecock bench is out-scoring its counterparts by 19.6 points per game this season, including 16.5 points per SEC game.

Gamecock Notables

  • South Carolina clinched at least a share of its eighth SEC Regular-Season Championship in the last 11 seasons – third straight – with Thursday night’s win over Alabama. Since 2019-20, the Gamecocks are 74-3 in league play with four titles.

  • Thursday’s win was also the 600th career win for head coach Dawn Staley, who needed just 104 games to go from 500 wins to 600. Staley’s .763 winning percentage is seventh among the 20 active coaches with at least 600 career victories.

  • The Gamecocks crash the glass, ranking fourth in the country in rebounding margin (+12.2). They particularly handle the defensive boards, leading the nation at 32.7 per game and allowing opponents just 8.2 second-chance points per game.

  • National Player of the Year candidate Kamilla Cardoso is a difference maker on both ends of the court, ranking fourth in the nation with a 67.0 player defensive rating and 39th in player offensive rating (125.7). Those numbers rank second and third in the SEC, respectively.

  • Ashlyn Watkins is charging toward SEC 6th Woman of the Year honors with her dominant play of late. Her season averages of 9.4 points and 7.4 rebounds include 11.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game over the last five outings to lead the team in both in addition to a team-high 13 blocks and second-on-team 11 steals in that stretch.

  • Senior Te-Hina Paopao is second in the SEC in player offensive rating (127.0) behind her 11.5 points and 3.7 assists per game. She is second in the NCAA in 3-point percentage (.480). Between her scoring (11.5 ppg) and teammates scoring 8.7 points per game off her assists, Paopao has her hands on 20.2 points per game, which is 23.3 percent of the Gamecocks’ total offense.

Road Ready
The Gamecocks are 309-260 (.543) all-time in road games (some records prior to 1976-77 did not include location of games), including a 134-46 mark (.744) under head coach Dawn Staley, giving her the best road winning percentage in program history.

In SEC road games, Gamecocks are 92-33 (.736) during Staley’s tenure.

The Gamecocks’ current 30-game road win streak is the longest in the history of the SEC.


SEC Sayings
South Carolina has been the benchmark in the SEC over the last decade, amassing eight regular-season titles since 2013-14 (11 seasons) and finishing no lower than second in that time. Since that season, the Gamecocks have a 158-15 record (.913) in league action, including a 74-3 mark over the last five seasons (beginning 2019-20). South Carolina set a new SEC record with its 43rd-consecutive league victory with its win over Georgia on Feb. 18. The streak spans three seasons beginning on Jan. 2, 2022, with a win over Mississippi State and now stands at 44.

The Gamecocks have also had a lock on the SEC Tournament, winning seven titles since claiming their first in 2015. They became the first program to win four consecutive tournaments, claiming the crowns 2015-18.

In the last decade, three Gamecocks have been named SEC Player of the Year a combined seven times, two have collected six SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors, two have been the league’s Sixth-Woman of the Year, three have been the league Freshman of the Year, one has been the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Staley has been the Coach of the Year six times.

Both the coaches and media picked South Carolina to finish second behind LSU this season.

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 (4th, 86.3 ppg) and defense (9th, 54.0 ppg).

South Carolina is fourth in the nation in field goal percentage (.500) and first in field goal percentage defense (.310). In SEC action, the Gamecocks lead the league in both categories – .486 field goal percentage, .331 field goal percentage allowed.

The Gamecock offense is balanced as well with 54.5 percent of points coming in the paint (47.1 ppg). The guards are scoring 52.8 percent of the points (45.6 ppg) and forwards adding the remaining 40.7 points per game. South Carolina averages 42.4 points in the first half and 44.0 in the second.