The South Carolina men's basketball team (4-6) will host Southeastern Louisiana (5-4) on Wednesday as part of a men's and women's basketball double-header at Colonial Life Arena, as the Gamecock women's team will host Savannah State at Noon.
OPENING TIP Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena Series: First Meeting Television: SportSouth Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Mike Gminski (analyst) Radio: Derek Scott (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 104th season of basketball.
- The Gamecocks are led by fourth-year head coach Darrin Horn.
- South Carolina used 54.2 percent shooting in the opening half to hold a 33-29 lead over No. 2 Ohio State at halftime last Saturday at Colonial Life Arena, however, the Buckeyes rallied around a 20-point second-half effort from Deshaun Thomas to rally for a 74-66 win over the Gamecocks.
- South Carolina senior forward Malik Cooke battled through an eye injury versus No. 2 Ohio State to match a season high with 21 points, including an impressive 9-of-10 effort from the charity stripe in the contest. Despite only playing 13 minutes in the second half due to lengthy breaks to tend to a cut above his eye, Cooke matched freshman forward Anthony Gill for a team-best 11 points in the set, including a 7-of-8 performance from the free throw line.
- Wednesday's contest marks the first meeting between South Carolina and SE Louisiana.
- Did you know? South Carolina assistant coach Neill Berry is a 2004 graduate and alumnus of the SE Louisiana men's basketball squad. Berry helped lead the Lions to the NCAA Tournament during his senior season.
- South Carolina earned its second-consecutive win with a 66-58 victory over Presbyterian on Dec. 13 at Colonial Life Arena. Sophomore guard Bruce Ellington led three Gamecocks in double figures with 15 points on the night. It marked his best all-around performance since his return to the court from the football field, as Ellington also dished three assists and collected one steal.
- After struggling in the first half vs. Presbyterian, scoring just 19 points on 24.1 percent shooting, the Gamecocks used a stifiling full court press to score 47 points in the second half, including 10 points off of turnovers and 10 fast break points in the set. The 47 points marked a season high for points in a half for the Gamecocks.
- South Carolina ranks first in the SEC in rebounding defense, as Carolina opponents collect just 31.2 rebounds per game. The Gamecocks have out-rebounded seven of 10 opponents this season.
- Sophomore point guard Bruce Ellington made his return to the practice court with the Gamecock hoops team on Nov. 28. Ellington is also a member of the Gamecock football team. To date, Ellington has scored two touchdowns this season, including a 49-yard reception for a score vs. Clemson on Dec. 4.
- In games it has won this season, South Carolina holds a +10.0 scoring margin over its opponents. To compare, in games in has lost, Gamecock opponents score 8.5 more points per game.
- South Carolina is 280-267 (.511) all-time in the month of December. South Carolina earned a 4-2 mark last season during the month.
- South Carolina's contest vs. SE Louisiana marks its first against a school from the Southland Conference.
By The Numbers 19 - South Carolina out-scored Ohio State 19-11 in bench points last Saturday, paced by Bruce Ellington's eight points and Damien Leonard's seven. The Gamecocks have held an upperhand in bench points six times this season, including in each of the last five games. The highest margin over an opponent in the category was a +22 performance in the season opener vs. Western Carolina. 14.4 - Over the course of the last five games Malik Cooke is averaging 14.4 points per game, including 3.4 points from the free throw line. 2 - After early foul trouble - two fouls in the first two minutes of the game - forced freshman forward Anthony Gill to sit the remainder of the first half, the Charlotte, N.C., native responded to contribute 11 points and collect four rebounds in the second half in the loss to Ohio State.
Scouting Southeastern Louisiana
The Lions enter Wednesday's contest with a 5-4 overall record, having most recently suffered a 62-55 loss at Arkansas ... SLU's other losses came against Tulsa and Western Kentucky ... The squad is paced by senior guard Brandon Fortenberry, averaging 17.6 points per game ... Senior center Elgin Bailey, a Mississippi State transfer, is in the lineup for SLU after having to sit the first seven games due to NCAA transfer rules; Bailey paces the squad with 10.5 rebounds per game, including a 12-rebound effort vs. Arkansas ... The Lions average 10.8 assists per game.