Jan. 24, 2018
#9/7 South Carolina vs Arkansas
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- No. 9/7 South Carolina looks to extend its win streak to three in a 6:30 p.m. tipoff on Thursday against Arkansas. Colonial Life Arena will host the 16-3 (5-2 SEC) Gamecocks and the 11-9 (2-5 SEC) Razorbacks for a game to be televised on SEC Network. South Carolina will have a height advantage over a guard-oriented Arkansas squad, whose tallest player stands 6-foot-3, but the Razorbacks are third in the SEC with 7.7 made 3s per game.
Parking in Lots A and B will be pass only, however, public handicap parking in those lots will be $10. Additional private and city lot parking is also $10. Shuttles from the Pendleton and Park Street garages will begin two hours prior to tip-off, and will be $3 roundtrip.
South Carolina Notables
Prior to tonight's game, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley will present senior forward A'ja Wilson with a ball to commemorate her 2,000th career point, which she scored against Auburn on Jan. 11. Wilson is rapidly approaching another milestone as she sits just 11 rebounds shy of 1,000 in her career. Upon hitting that mark, she will join Sheila Foster as the only Gamecocks all-time to achieve both 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
Sophomore point guard Tyasha Harris has six double-doubles this season, including three in SEC action over the last five games. Her 7.7 assists per SEC game are more than 2.0 ahead of the next entry on the list.
Junior forward Alexis Jennings has elevated her offensive production over the last three games, averaging 18.6 points on 77.8 percent shooting (21-of-27). The effort has not stymied her rebounding at all as she pulled down 9.0 boards per game during the stretch.
The Gamecock offense has been among the nation's most efficient throughout this season, shooting 50.6 percent from the field to rank third in the country. In the last two games, South Carolina shot 63.6 percent, led by A'ja Wilson and Alexis Jennings combining for 81.3 percent (26-of-32) accuracy.
For the past few seasons, South Carolina's offense has started with the high-percentage inside game. This season 51.5 percent of the Gamecocks' offense has come in the paint, from where 68.5 percent of their made field goals have come.
By the Numbers
6 Individual stats in which Gamecocks rank among the top 10 in the nation -- Harris, 10th in assists per game (6.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.0); Jennings, eighth in field goal percentage (.636); Wilson, fifth in scoring (23.4), seventh in blocks per game (3.4) and double-doubles (12)
6 Quarters this season in which the Gamecocks have shot at least 70.0 percent from the field, including five in their last two games
11 Rebounds needed by A'ja Wilson to reach 1,000 in her career
16 Games this season in which South Carolina has out-scored its opponent in the paint -- all Gamecock victories
Arkansas Series Notes
The Razorbacks lead the series 17-16, but the Gamecocks have won eight straight and nine of the last 10. South Carolina has won the last four meetings with the Arkansas in Colonial Life Arena with the Razorbacks' last win in the building coming on Feb. 14, 2010, in a tight 72-68 decision.
Holding Home Court
The Gamecocks are 430-156 all-time on their home court, including a 187-62 mark in Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina is 123-28 at home during the Dawn Staley era and has lost just three times in its last 76 home games, including undefeated home seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The Gamecocks have won 35 of their last 37 SEC regular-season home games dating back to the 2012-13 season.
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is in her 10th season at the helm after guiding the Gamecocks into the postseason seven times in her first nine seasons in Columbia, including the 2017 National Championship and five other Sweet 16 berths. With a .715 (409-163) winning percentage over her 18 seasons as a head coach, Staley is 23rd among active NCAA Div. I head coaches with at least 10 years of experience and is the best among SEC head coaches. Staley is the third-longest tenured coach currently in the SEC, and her 10.8 league wins per season is best among the group. During the Gamecocks' current four-year run as SEC champion, the program averaged 14.8 conference wins per season. With her 100th SEC regular-season victory coming against Auburn on Jan. 11, 2018, Staley became the eighth head coach all-time to record at least 100 such wins with one school.
Sophomore point guard Tyasha Harris has had a brilliant 2018 so far, amassing three of her six double-doubles in the first month of the New Year while averaging 14.7 points per game on 47.8 percent field goal shooting.
Looking around the county at other guards tallying points-assists double-doubles, Harris rises to the top of the group. On the season, her six double-doubles are fourth-most in the nation. Since the turn of the New Year, she ties Ball State's Carmen Grande with three double-doubles so far. Grande's four such games in MAC play are one better than Harris' three in SEC action. No other player in the nation has multiple points-assists double-doubles in league games.
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