Women's basketball heads to Athens looking for first SEC win of the season.
Jan. 10, 2009
Last Time Out
South Carolina battled No. 9/8 Auburn down to the wire only to see the Tigers escape Colonial Life Arena with an 80-76 victory Thursday night in the SEC opener for both teams. The Gamecocks fought back from a 10-point deficit with five minutes left in the game, twice narrowing the gap to two points with under 15 seconds, but Auburn was solid at the free-throw line to seal the narrow victory. Three Gamecocks score 17 or more points, including senior Brionna Dickerson who netted a season-high 19 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.
Georgia leads the series 27-4, including wins in the last eight outings. The last Gamecock victory was a 64-59 decision in Columbia on Feb. 7, 2002. That game completed a regular-season sweep of the Bulldogs by South Carolina as the Gamecocks also won the Jan. 10 meeting in Athens by a score of 71-64. That game is the lone road win for South Carolina over Georgia as the Gamecocks are just 1-11 against the Bulldogs in Athens. Georgia has been unranked in just six games in the all-time series against the Gamecocks, holding a 4-2 edge in those outings, the most recent of which was a 67-59 Bulldog victory on Jan. 19, 2003 in Columbia. South Carolina head coach is 1-1 against the Bulldogs as she led her Temple team to a 69-66 overtime victory over head coach Andy Landers' 17th-ranked Bulldogs on Dec. 19, 2005, in Philadelphia. The Bulldogs avenged the loss two years later with a 57-51 win on Nov. 16, 2007, in Athens.
Sada Wheeler has been excused from the team for personal reasons and will not return this season.
A South Carolina Win Would ...
Be the Gamecocks' sixth in the last nine games.
Be the Gamecocks' first over Georgia since Feb. 7, 2002, and the first over the Bulldogs in Athens since Jan. 10, 2002.
Give the Gamecocks their earliest SEC victory since an 83-79 win over then-No. 15 Mississippi State in the SEC opener on Jan. 9, 2003.
Give the Gamecocks their earliest road SEC victory since a 79-64 win at Mississippi State in the second SEC game of the 2001-02 season.
Be head coach Dawn Staley's first SEC win leading a team in the conference.
Give head coach Dawn Staley a 2-1 record against Georgia.
The Gold Standard
While head coach Dawn Staley has become synonymous with Olympic gold, the entire South Carolina coaching staff boasts a wealth of experience and achievement. Including assistant coaches Lisa Boyer, Carla McGhee and Nikki McCray, the Gamecock women's basketball staff has combined for 39 years of coaching experience, 29 years of playing professionally in the United States, seven Olympic gold medals and two NCAA National Championships.
Sending Out an SOS
Through games of Jan. 8, South Carolina is ranked 17th in the nation in strength of schedule (SOS). Only two SEC schools have played a tougher schedule to this point as Tennessee is ranked second and LSU is 14th. The Gamecocks have a high RPI as well. Their ranking of 46 slots in behind Tennessee (2), Auburn (14), Florida (15) and LSU (40) in the SEC.
Opponents may find it difficult to scout the Gamecock offense so far this season as the team has had seven different players lead the offense through 14 games. Players have shared the team lead in three games, and only three players have been the team's sole points leader in multiple games - senior Demetress Adams, senior Brionna Dickerson and freshman Lakeisha Sutton.
Working the Glass
Senior Demetress Adams is fifth in the SEC with 7.8 rebounds per game. She was atop the standings in the category for much of the early season thanks to grabbing double-digit boards in five of the Gamecocks' first eight games. Since tying her season high with 12 rebounds against USC Upstate, she has flirted with double figures just once in five games, snagging nine caroms in the win over Charlotte. While her rebounding numbers have declined, Adams' offense has been skyrocketing. She has scored 14 or more points in seven of the last night games, including 19 against Charlotte and 17 against No. 9/8 Auburn in just 20 minutes on the floor. She is 18th in the league at 11.9 points per game, one full point per game more than she averaged last season, while hitting 51.2 percent of her field goal attempts.
Senior Brionna Dickerson has reached double-figure points in all but three games this season to rank 20t in the SEC with 11.7 points per game, including a season-high 19 against No. 9/8 Auburn. She has hit scored 15 or more points six times, including three straight games three weeks into the season. That stretch included both games of the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic and yielded Tournament MVP honors. In the four games since Christmas, Dickerson has hit 51.4 percent from the field, including a season-best showing of 60 percent accuracy (6-of-10) against Jacksonville.
Upping the Pace
Senior guard/forward C.J. Pace has thrived in the semester break after opening the post-exam stretch with a career outing against Charlotte on Dec. 21. She scored a career-high 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range, and snagged seven rebounds, including a career-high four on the offensive glass, against the 49ers. Despite being stymied by No. 1 UConn, Pace came back strong against Jacksonville, scoring 13 points to go with seven rebounds and a career-high two blocked shots. At NC State, she recorded her first career double-double, netting 10 points to go with her career-high tying 11 rebounds. She went on to lead the team with seven rebounds against No. 9/8 Auburn in the SEC opener. Over the last five games, Pace has recorded 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. The surge has moved her into fourth on the team in scoring this season, posting 6.7 points per game, and into 15th in the SEC in rebounding at 6.2 caroms per outing.
Doing the Double-Double
South Carolina senior Demetress Adams is tied for second in the SEC lead with four double-doubles this season. Tied with Auburn's DeWanna Bonner, Kentucky's Victoria Dunlap and Georgia's Angel Robinson, Adams is four behind league leader Eleaia Roddy of Kentucky, but has reached her number in fewer games than her rivals. Roddy, Dunlap and Bonner all needed 16 games to get to their marks, while Robinson played 15 games to get there. Adams has turned in four double-doubles in just 14 games. In her career, she has posted 16 double-doubles, leading the Gamecocks to a 13-3 record in those games.
The Gamecocks are 162-159 all-time in the month of January. South Carolina's best record in the first month of the year came in the 1979-80 season when the Gamecocks were 10-1. In January, Carolina is 99-66 at home, 49-84 on the road and a perfect 4-0 at a neutral site (17 games in the Gamecock history books do not indicate the site of the contest, during which Carolina is 9-8.) The Gamecocks are 1-1 so far in their eight January games this season.
It's a Block Party!
After recording 55 blocked shots in 2007-08, the third-most in school history, senior Demetress Adams looks to continue her charge up the Gamecocks' career blocked shots list. She needs just one to meet former teammate Ilona Burgrova's 133 in third place.
Career Blocked Shots
1. 177 Lakesha Tolliver (2004-08)
2. 148 Michelle Murray (1989-93)
3. 133 Ilona Burgrova (2004-08)
4. 132 Demetress Adams (2005-present)
The Adams Family
Senior Demetress Adams (Bishopville, S.C./Lee Central) is fifth in the SEC with 7.8 rebounds per game ... leads the team and ranks 18th in the SEC with 11.9 points per game ... is 19th in blocked shots (0.9 per game) ... has recorded four double-doubles this season and has been the team's leading rebounder seven times ... has scored in double figures 10 times, including eight games of 14 or more points ... scored 17 points in just 20 foul-plagued minutes against No. 9/8 Auburn ... hit 7-of-14 from the field, including the game-winning layup at the buzzer, en route to a team-high 14 points at NC State.
What Do You Serve With Brie?
Senior Brionna Dickerson (Columbia, S.C./Heathwood Hall) is second on the team and ranks 20th in the SEC with 11.7 points per game ... is second in the league with 33.6 minutes played per game and 15th in 3-point fields made at 1.1 per game ... has been the team's leading scorer five times and reached double-figure points in 11 games ... paced the squad with 19 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, against No. 9/8 Auburn ... netted 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting at NC State.
You Can Call Me Cocoa
Sophomore Lauren Falohun (Atlanta, Ga./Pace Academy) averages 3.4 points and 1.8 assists.
The Kennedy Legacy
Sophomore Samone Kennedy (Birmingham, Ala./Ramsay) has started the last seven games ... leads the team with 2.3 assists per game ... played the full 40 minutes for the first time in her career against No. 9/8 Auburn, handing out three assists against just one turnover and scoring seven points ... handed out five assists against just two turnovers at NC State.
Jewel of the Nile
Sophomore Jewel May (Conyers, Ga./Heritage) is third on the team with 5.9 rebounds per game, 19th-best in the SEC, to go with 5.8 points per outing ... added six points and five rebounds, including three offensive, against No. 9/8 Auburn despite playing just 26 minutes due to foul trouble ... was steady at NC State with nine points and four rebounds, hitting a career-high four field goals.
A Newton of Force
Redshirt freshman Courtney Newton (Flowery Branch, Ga./Flowery Branch) has played in nine games after missing the first two games with a right knee injury.
Set the Pace
Senior C.J. Pace (Snellville, Ga./Chipola College) averages 6.7 points and 6.2 rebounds, 15th-best in the SEC on the glass ... has reached double-digit points in three of the last five games ... led the team with seven rebounds and scored six points against No. 9/8 Auburn ... recorded her first career double-double at NC State with 10 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds, while also triggering the inbound pass that led to Demetress Adams' game-winning layup at the buzzer.
Freshman Charenee Stephens (Decatur, Ga./Southwest DeKalb) has played in every game since making her season debut on Dec. 28 after sitting out the first 10 games for personal reasons ... scored her first career points with a pair of baskets against No. 9/8 Auburn while adding three rebounds to the effort ... provided a solid 16 minutes at NC State, grabbing a career-best four rebounds, including two on the offensive end.
Freshman Lakeisha Sutton (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) is the team's third-highest scorer with 9.0 points per game ... is 13th in the SEC with a .667 free-throw percentage ... has scored in double figures seven times, including a pair of games with 15 or more points ... poured in 17 points against No. 9/8 Auburn, including hitting 7-of-8 from the free-throw line ... added nine points, including a 3-pointer, to the win at NC State.
Freshman Miranda Tate (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) is scoring 3.4 points per game.
Freshman Tonia Williams (Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County) has come off the bench in five games this season.