Gamecocks look for first league win in SEC home opener.
Jan. 5, 2011
Game Notes in PDF Format
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Colonial Life Arena
LSU leads 20-3; In Columbia: LSU leads 10-1; In Baton Rouge: LSU leads 10-1; At Neutral Site: SC leads 1-0
FSN (Dave Baker and Stephanie Ready)
WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller and Marcy Girton); GamecocksOnline.com
Live Stats: GamecocksOnline.com
$7 General Admission
South Carolina Notables
The Gamecocks are 7-3 when the bench outscores the opponent's bench.
- South Carolina is scoring 20.0 more points per game at home than on the road (66.8-46.8)
- Since the break, junior guard La'Keisha Sutton is averaging 11.3 points, 4.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game. She has a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio and is shooting 68.8 percent (11-16) from the field.
- Junior forward Charenee Stephens is doubtful for tonight's game due to a left knee injury suffered in the Georgia game. She is being evaluated on a day-by-day basis.
- Three Gamecocks are among the SEC's top 30 scorers this season - Ieasia Walker (11.1 ppg), Marah Strickland (10.4 ppg) and La'Keisha Sutton (9.9).
A South Carolina Win Would...
- Be its ninth-straight home victory, the longest the Gamecocks have gone without dropping a home game since opening the 2002-03 season with a 10-game home win streak.
- Be its first over LSU since a 76-61 decision in the 1998 SEC Tournament.
- Be head coach Dawn Staley's first over LSU and her 2004 Olympic coach Van Chancellor.
By the Numbers
1 - Gamecock who has a higher scoring average away from Colonial Life Arena than on her home court - Marah Strickland (11.0-10.1)
2 - Gamecocks who have started every game this season - Jewel May and La'Keisha Sutton
3 - Gamecocks who have pulled down more offensive rebounds than defensive boards - Ashley Bruner (50-37), Charenee Stephens (37-35) and Ebony Wilson (12-9)
5 - Different players who have led the team in scoring this season - Ieasia Walker (5), Marah Strickland (3), La'Keisha Sutton (2), Ashley Bruner (2), Charenee Stephens (1) and Valerie Nainima (1)
9 -Games in which South Carolina has led at the half, during which they have an 8-1 record
11 - The largest deficit the Gamecocks have overcome to win this season (Illinois)
18 - The largest halftime lead the Gamecocks have held this season (South Carolina State)
35.9 - Points per game difference in scoring margin for the Gamecocks from home games to away/neutral games (+13.7 / -22.2)
.303 - Difference in the Gamecocks' season-best field goal percentage (.521 vs. Presbyteran) and their season low (.218 at Stanford)
LSU Series Notes
The Lady Tigers lead the series 20-3 and have won the last 14 meetings. South Carolina's last win in the series was a 76-61 victory in the first round of the 1998 SEC Tournament.
South Carolina has won just one of the 11 all-time meetings in Columbia - a 66-56 outcome on Jan. 2, 1993.
Living in the League
Including a 7-9 mark last season, South Carolina is 73-179 in SEC games since joining the league for the 1991-92 season. The Gamecocks are 48-78 in regular-season SEC games played in Columbia and 25-101 in SEC games on the road. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley boasts a 108-47 career record in league play, including eight seasons leading her Temple team to a 99-25 Atlantic 10 record. She is 9-22 in her second season in the SEC.
Home Sweet Home
South Carolina has won 69.5 percent of its home games since the 1976-77 season (records did not include the site of games for the first two seasons of women's basketball). That 331-145 mark includes an 87-48 mark in Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks turned in their most productive home season in 2001-02, winning 17 of their 18 contests in their final season playing at Carolina Coliseum. The team's best home record at Colonial Life Arena came in 2006-07 when South Carolina went 15-5. South Carolina is currently 8-1 at home this season.
The Gamecocks are 167-170 (.496) all-time in the month of January, including a 97-71 (.577) record at home. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 6-11 in the first month of the year. The Gamecocks went 2-6 in Staley's first year at the helm (2008-09) and were 4-5 last season. So far this season, South Carolina is 0-1 in January.
Boost from the Bench
The South Carolina bench has outscored that of its opponent 10 times in 14 games this season, and the Gamecocks are 7-3 in those outings. South Carolina is 1-3 in games in which the opponent's bench scores more points.
On the season, the South Carolina bench is outscoring its counterparts by 6.1 points per game. The Gamecock reserves have outscored their peers by 20 or more points three times (Savannah State, NC State, South Carolina State) with the season's largest differential of 34 points coming against South Carolina State (Dec. 30).
Take Two, They're Free
Junior guard Marah Strickland entered the national rankings this week as her 94.6 percent free throw shooting is sixth-best in the country. She went 10 games without missing an attempt from the charity stripe and has missed just twice all season.
Fast StarterAshley Bruner started SEC play the same way she attacked the start of the season - with a double-double. She led all scorers and rebounders at Georgia with 16 points and 11 boards to post her third double-double of the season. Five of her 11 rebounds came on the offensive end as she shot 6-of-7 from the field at Stegeman Coliseum. Bruner also posted a double-double in the second game of the season (11 pts/12 rebs vs. Illinois).
The Jersey Way
Junior guard La'Keisha Sutton has played the team's best all-around basketball since the team returned from its holiday break. Over the last three games, she has averaged 11.3 points (on 68.8 percent field goal shooting), 4.7 assists and 2.7 steals and has a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Trenton, N.J., native was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field against Presbyterian in the first game back, handily shaking off an 0-of-7 performance against Butler just prior to the break.
Super Sixth Man
Junior guard Marah Strickland is the Gamecocks' second-leading scorer at 10.4 points per game, but it was a move to the bench after five games in the starting lineup that moved her up the scoring chart. With a reputation as a long-range sharp shooter, Strickland opened the season in the starting lineup, but was hitting just 18.2 percent (4-22) from long range and scoring 7.0 points per game through the team's first five contests. Head coach Dawn Staley decided to move her Preseason All-SEC guard to the bench for the opening tipoff at UC Davis (Nov. 28), and the switch has paid dividends for both team and individual.
In the nine games since Strickland started coming in off the bench, South Carolina is 6-3 after going 2-3 with her in the starting lineup. The junior guard is scoring 12.3 points per game and hitting 30.2 percent from 3-point range since the move. She has scored in double figures in all but two of those games and ranks among the SEC's top 30 in scoring and top 12 in 3-point field goals made.
The South Carolina defense has held 12 of its last 13 opponents below their season scoring averages, against whom the Gamecocks are 9-3. Only Stanford managed to reach its average, scoring 70 points on the Gamecock defense after entering the game with a 69.7 points per game mark. On average, South Carolina has held its opponents 12.9 points below their season average entering the game (excludes season opener against Xavier).
Heavenly at 70, Successful at 60
The Gamecocks are 7-1 this season when scoring at least 60 points, including a perfect 3-0 mark when reaching the 70-point plateau. South Carolina is 1-5 when scoring fewer than 60.
In the Dawn Staley era (2008-09 to present), the Gamecocks are 14-3 when scoring 70 or more points. The team is just 8-26 when falling short of the 60-point mark and an even 10-10 when scoring between 60 and 69 points.
Be Aggressive, B-E Aggressive
Since head coach Dawn Staley took the reins prior to the 2008-09 season, the Gamecocks have been most successful when they are aggressive on the offensive end. That trend is even more pronounced this season.
Under Staley, South Carolina is 25-19 when it attempts more free throws that 3-poiners, including a 6-3 mark this season. In the last three seasons, the Gamecocks are 21-13 when attempting more free throws than their opponent, including a 7-3 mark this season.