Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013 Time: 8 p.m. (ET) Location: Columbia, Missouri Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061) Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller); GamecocksOnline.com Live Stats:GamecocksOnline.com MU Series: SC leads 1-0; In Columbia, Mo.: Never Met; In Columbia, S.C.: Never Met; Neutral Site: SC leads 1-0
After being out-rebounded in consecutive games for the first time this season, South Carolina rededicated itself to the glass. The Gamecocks have won the battle of the boards four times in the last five games, including advantages of 29 and 23 at Alabama and against Mississippi State, respectively. South Carolina is ninth in the nation in rebounding margin at +9.7
Senior guard Ieasia Walker leads the SEC with 3.1 steals per conference game this season. She has swiped five or more steals in five SEC games (eight total this season) and has only nabbed less than three in a game four times in league play. Her 2.8 steals per game overall rank her 40th in the nation. The quarterback of the defense also steers the offense, ranking 13th in the league with 3.0 assists per SEC game, including three with at least five.
Freshman guard Khadijah Sessions drew the start in the last two games, scoring 11 points in each outing and picked up a career-high four steals against Mississippi State (Feb. 24).
Senior forward Ashley Bruner averaged nearly a double-double over the last five games, posting 11.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per outing, while handing out 3.0 assists per game as well. That assist mark including a career-high six against Mississippi State (Feb. 24).
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley has been named one of 12 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2013. Finalists must receive 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Hall. The Class of 2013 will be announced on April 8 prior to the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.
A South Carolina Win Would...
Be the Gamecocks' school-record 11th SEC win of the season, surpassing last season's mark (and that of the 2001-02 team) of 10. The school record for conference wins of a season is 13 in the Metro Conference in 1989-90.
Be the Gamecocks' 23rd regular-season victory, matching the mark of the 1979-80 team for the most in school history.
By the Numbers 2 Entries by sophomore Aleighsa Welch in the Gamecocks' all-time top six in single-season offensive rebounds, including this season's entry of 113 among the top three 2 Opponents that has scored 60 or more points against the Gamecocks this season, helping South Carolina to No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense 4 20-win seasons for South Carolina since joining the SEC for the 1991-92 season, including this season, which is the second consecutive 20-win effort under head coach Dawn Staley 4 Times sophomore Elem Ibiam has reset her career-high points, including twice in SEC play (12 pts at Alabama, Feb. 7; 15 pts at Kentucky, Feb. 14) 5 New entries this season in the top five single-game rebounding margins of the Dawn Staley era after a +23 mark against Mississippi State (Feb. 24) came in at No. 5 7 SEC games this season in which the South Carolina defense has allowed 48 or fewer points (17 total for the season) 8 Double-doubles by sophomore forward Aleighsa Welch, including two in SEC play 8 Consecutive turnovers forced by South Carolina against Mississippi State (Feb. 24) to hold the Bulldogs without a field goal attempt for the first four minutes of the game 10.0 Points per game scored by sophomore center Elem Ibiam over her last four outings 11 RPI for South Carolina, placing them among five SEC teams in the top 15 14 Ranking of South Carolina in this week's Associated Press poll, the highest mark for the program since the Jan. 13, 2003, poll also had the Gamecocks at No. 14 18 Gamecocks all-time who have collected 600 career rebounds since senior forward Ashley Bruner joined the group on Feb. 3 at Alabama - her 640 career rebounds are 15th in school history (48 behind Iva Sliskovic in 14th) 17 Of the last 27 Associated Press polls that have included the Gamecocks, dating back to Jan. 9, 2012 29 More rebounds by the Gamecocks than the Crimson Tide (Feb. 7), a Dawn Staley era record for rebounding margin 32 Free throws made by the Gamecocks at Mississippi State (Jan. 6), the most in the Dawn Staley era, the fourth-most in school history and the most ever in a road game 37 Regular-season SEC wins among the program's 101 that have come in the last five seasons under head coach Dawn Staley 42 Points scored by then-No. 13/12 Georgia (Jan. 13), the fewest the Gamecocks have ever allowed in a losing effort 56.0 Percent field goal shooting by South Carolina at No. 9/7 Kentucky (Feb. 14), the second-highest mark of the Dawn Staley era 59 Rebounds by the Gamecocks at Florida (Jan. 20), the most in the Dawn Staley era 74 Points by the Gamecocks at No. 9/7 Kentucky (Feb. 14), the program's most in a regular-season SEC contest since a 79-71 defeat of Kentucky on Jan. 14, 2010
The Missouri Series
The Gamecocks and Tigers have met once before tonight. South Carolina posted a 72-60 win over Missouri in the Duke Classic on Nov. 24, 2001.
With a win at Alabama (Feb. 7), South Carolina posted its second-consecutive 20-win season. In now 39 seasons of women's basketball, the Gamecocks have compiled 12 seasons of 20 or more victories. Four of those have come while playing in the SEC (since 1991-92 season), and two of those are under current head coach Dawn Staley.
South Carolina won a school-record 23 regular-season games during the 1979-80 season. The Gamecocks finished that season with a 30-6 record and ranked No. 4 in the nation.
Staley now has eight 20-win seasons on her coaching resume. She reached the plateau during the regular season in five of those seasons, including the 2004-05 effort during which her Temple Owls went 24-3 in the regular season before finishing 28-4.
The Gamecocks are 195-233 (.428) all-time in games on enemy territory, including a 20-28 (.417) mark under head coach Dawn Staley.
Rendering the RPI
With a 22-5 record, including 10 wins away from home, the Gamecocks are 11th in the NCAA RPI released on Feb. 25. South Carolina is one of five SEC schools rated among the top 15.
The Gamecocks' strength of schedule ranks in the top 20, playing six games against teams ranked in the top 25 - then-No. 1/1 Stanford (Dec. 19), then-No. 12/13 Tennessee (Jan. 3), at then-No. 13/12 Georgia (Jan. 13), home against then-No. 5/4 Kentucky (Jan. 24) and then-No. 14/16 Texas A&M (Feb. 7) and on the road against No. 9/7 Kentucky (Feb. 14).