The Gamecock defense has held 10 of its 14 opponents to less than 50 points to rank fourth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 47.5 points per game. The Gamecocks allowed then-#1/1 Stanford (Dec. 21) to score just 53 points after the Cardinal entered the game averaging 78.6 per contest.
Senior guard Ieasia Walker swiped five steals against Western Carolina (Dec. 29) to become just the 13th Gamecock to amass at least 200 in her career. The three-year starter is also on track to reach the 1,000-point plateau this season, needing just 45 points to reach the mark.
South Carolina has found success by limiting its opponents offensive opportunities. While allowing foes to shot 34.2 percent from the field, the Gamecocks are taking 8.6 more shots per game than their opponents. That effort is helped by a +3.4 turnover margin and the fact that South Carolina ranks 13th in the nation in turnovers per game (13.8).
By the Numbers
4 Rank in the nation for South Carolina in scoring defense, allowing just 47.5 points per game, which leads the SEC 5 Blocks by sophomore Elem Ibiam against Western Carolina (Dec. 29), tying her career high and the third-most in Colonial Life Arena history 4.0 Steals per game by senior guard Ieasia Walker over the last five games, including a career-high tying six against SC State 6 Double-doubles by sophomore forward Aleighsa Welch, the most in the SEC this season and the most by a Gamecock since the 2009-10 season 9 Points by the benches for South Carolina and #12/13 Tennessee combined in their Jan. 3rd game 13 Gamecocks all-time that have swiped at least 200 career steals after senior guard Ieasia Walker joined the group with five steals against Western Carolina (Dec. 29) 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 20 Points scored by the Gamecocks on 21 offensive rebounds against #12/13 Tennessee (Jan. 3) 25.6 Points below its season average that the Gamecock defense held #1/1 Stanford (Dec. 19) in the four-point Cardinal victory 27 Free throws made by the Gamecocks against SC State (Dec. 21), a Dawn Staley era record 534 Career rebounds by senior forward Ashley Bruner, placing her among just 26 Gamecocks to achieve the 500-rebound plateau. She needs 54 more to make the program's top-20.
The Mississippi State Series
The Bulldogs hold a 16-11 edge in the series, but have not defeated the Gamecocks since Feb. 11, 2010. South Carolina scored a 69-43 win at Colonial Life Arena on Jan. 29, 2012. That followed the Gamecocks' first win in Starkville, a 60-53 decision on Feb. 13, 2011, since the 2005-06 season.
Mississippi State holds a 9-3 record against the Gamecocks in Starkville, while South Carolina has an 8-5 edge on its homecourt.
The Gamecocks are 190-231 (.451) all-time in games on enemy territory, including a 15-26 mark under head coach Dawn Staley. Those numbers improve when factoring in just non-conference outings. Since 1983-84 when South Carolina first joined a conference for women's basketball, the Gamecocks are 72-63 (.533) in regular-season non-conference outings. Staley's four seasons account for an 8-7 mark in that subset of games.
South Carolina is 177-178 (.499) all-time in the month of January, including a 16-20 (.444) record under fifth-year head coach Dawn Staley. The Gamecocks are 104-75 (.581) in home games during the first month of the calendar year, including a 29-55 (.345) mark at Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina is 60-95 (.387) in January road games and 4-0 at neutral sites during the month.
Rendering the RPI
With a 12-2 record, including five wins away from home, the Gamecocks are among the nation's top 40 in RPI (varies depending on the organization). South Carolina is one of seven SEC schools ranked in the top 40 in RPI.
The Gamecocks' strength of schedule ranks in the top 60 and should continue to build over the course of the season. The Gamecocks are slated to play six teams currently ranked in the top 25. Beginning Dec. 19 against then-No. 1/1 Stanford, the matchups with ranked foes include road games at Georgia (10/11) and Arkansas (23/-), home and road games against Kentucky (6/6) and home games against Tennessee (12/13) and Texas A&M (24/22).