Gamecocks will honor winners of first segment of Read with the Gamecocks program at halftime.
Dec. 20, 2012
Date: Friday, December 21, 2012
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Tickets: $7 adult, $4 youth (17 & under)
Live Video: GamecocksOnline.com (Free)
Live Stats: GamecocksOnline.com
Series History: SCSU Series: SC leads 23-9; In Columbia: SC leads 17-2; In Orangeburg: SC leads 4-3
- This is the Gamecocks’ 39th season as a varsity sport, the fifth with head coach Dawn Staley at the helm.
- For the first time under head coach Dawn Staley, neither of the team’s top two scorers is a guard as forwards Aleighsa Welch (12.4 ppg) and Ashley Bruner (10.4 ppg) lead teh offense this season.
- The Gamecock defense, ranked second in the nation in points allowed, held #1/1 Stanford to just 53 points after the Cardinal entered the game averaging 78.6 per contest. Stanford came to Columbia shooting 51.8 percent from the field but managed just 40.4 percent against the Gamecocks. The Cardinal committed 18 turnovers, which led to 11 Gamecock points.
- South Carolina is also second in the nation in rebounding margin (+16.4). A Gamecock has pulled down double-digit rebounds in a game 12 times this season, compared to just seven all of 2011-12.
A South Carolina Win Would…
- Be head coach Dawn Staley’s 250th career victory.
- Be the Gamecocks’ 20th straight over South Carolina State.
By the Numbers
1 Rank of sophomore Aleighsa Welch in double-doubles in the SEC, a category in which she also ranks 17th in the nation
2 South Carolina’s ranking nationally in scoring defense and rebounding margin
3 Teams in the SEC that average more fans per home game than the Gamecocks’ 3,949
4 Games this season in which the Gamecocks have out-rebounded their opponent by 20 or more – vs. Florida Gulf Coast (+26; Nov. 24), vs. Hampton (+25; Nov. 22), vs. Savannah State (+24; Nov. 15) and Elon (+20; Nov. 9)
6 Double-digit rebound games this season by sophomore Aleighsa Welch, which is tied for the lead in the SEC
7 Double-doubles recorded by the Gamecocks this season after last season’s squad posted just two
10> Steals needed by senior guard Ieasia Walker to reach 200 in her career and become just the 13th Gamecock to achieve the mark
11 Points scored by South Carolina off 18 turnovers by #1/1 Stanford (Dec. 19)
14 Deficit at halftime for the Gamecocks against Drexel before coming back to win in overtime, the largest deficit South Carolina has overcome since rallying from 18 points down with 8:15 to play in the first half against LSU on Jan. 6, 2011 and the largest second-half deficit overcome by the Gamecocks in the Dawn Staley era
25.6 Points below its season average that the Gamecock defense held #1/1 Stanford (Dec. 19) in the four-point Cardinal victory
32 Points of the Gamecocks’ 49 against #1/1 Stanford (Dec. 19) scored by senior Ieasia Walker (15) and sophomore Aleighsa Welch (17)
515 Career rebounds by senior forward Ashley Bruner, ranking her among just 26 Gamecocks to achieve the 500-rebound plateau
The SC State Series
The Gamecocks and Lady Bulldogs have met 32 times prior to today’s matchup. South Carolina has a 23-9 edge and has won the last 19 meetings, including the most recent – a 66-21 decision on Dec. 14, 2011 at Colonial Life Arena. In fact, the Gamecocks have a 17-2 record against the Lady Bulldogs in games played in Columbia.
Scouting the Lady Bulldogs
South Carolina State brings an 8-2 record and a veteran squad to Columbia with four returning starters among the team’s six returning letterwinners. The Lady Bulldogs are off to a hot start, already amassing more non-conference wins than last year, and are riding a four-game win streak into today’s game. Their two losses came to teams the Gamecocks are familiar with – Georgia and Hampton, which South Carolina defeated earlier this season at the Paradise Jam. Senior Tiara Knotts leads the offense with 15.2 points per game behind 39.1 percent 3-point shooting. Also a threat on the defensive end, the 5-foot-4 guard ranks among the nation’s top 50 with 3.0 steals per game so far this season. Junior center Paris Alston comes off the bench, but joins Knotts in double-figure points with 10.0 per game. She is hitting 48.8 percent from the field and paves the way on the glass with 8.3 rebounds per outing. Another defensive stalwart for the Lady Bulldogs is senior center Fannie Goodwin who is 34th in the nation with 2.2 blocked shots per game. She also snags 6.5 rebounds per contest and scores 6.3 points per game. Senior Cabriel Duren sets the table for SC State, handing out 4.2 assists per game in addition to her scoring average of 7.3 points. The 5-foot-6 guard will challenge the steal-happy Gamecock guards as she turns the ball over just 2.4 times per game. As a team, SC State scores 67.1 points per game on 40.7 percent shooting, including 33.6 percent from 3-point range. The Lady Bulldogs have been out-rebounded by 2.8 boards per game but have a +6.9 turnover margin, which ranks among the top 20 in the nation. Opponents have scored 53.5 points per game on 34.5 percent shooting, including just 29.8 percent from 3-point range. SC State head coach Doug Robertson, Jr. is in his fifth season, leading the Lady Bulldogs to a 53-77 record, pushing his career mark to 106-109 in his eighth season.
Read with the Gamecocks
The women’s basketball team is celebrating the winners of the first segment of this season’s Read with the Gamecocks program today. The statewide initiative aims to encourage reading and promote literacy among elementary students in kindergarten through fifth grade. In this segment, 34 schools around the state participated. The combined 2,321 students read a total of 754,450 pages over the 12-day segment. South Carolina will recognize the winners of the next two segments during its game against Auburn on Feb. 3 and its contest with Florida on March 3. Overall winners for the three-segment total will also be honored on March 3. For more information on the program, please visit www.GamecocksOnline.com/readingprogram.