Date: Monday, March 19, 2012 Time: 7:20 p.m. Location: West Lafayette, Ind. Arena: Mackey Arena (14,240) TV: ESPN2 (Stephen Bardo and Brenda VanLengen) Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller); GamecocksOnline.com Live Stats:GamecocksOnline.com Purdue Series: PUR leads 2-0; Neutral Site: PUR leads 2-0
South Carolina Notables
The Gamecocks reached the 80-point plateau against Eastern Michigan, the first time they reached that mark since posting an 80-68 win at Alabama on Jan. 10, 2010.
South Carolina's 32-point win over Eastern Michigan was the third-largest margin of victory for the Gamecocks in the Dawn Staley era. It was the first double-digit win in the NCAA Tournament in Staley's coaching career as her Temple teams won their two tournament victories by a combined eight points.
The 48 points by Eastern Michigan were the fewest by a Gamecock opponent in their NCAA Tournament history.
The Gamecock defense held Eastern Michigan's top scorer, Tavelyn James, who entered the game ranked second in the country at 24.2 points per game, to just 11 points. James was just 2-of-17 from the field in the contest.
Its first-round win over Eastern Michigan marked the 14th time this season the Gamecock defense has allowed 48 or fewer points in a game this season.
South Carolina has shot 70.0 percent or better in three of its four postseason tournament games, including hitting 78.6 percent (11-of-14) from the charity stripe against Eastern Michigan on Saturday. As a team, the Gamecocks have shot 71.4 percent from the free throw line in the postseason after finishing the regular season hitting just 57.4 percent.
Senior guard La'Keisha Sutton has handed out five or more assists in a game 24 times in her career, including Saturday's first-round victory. Against the Eagles, Sutton matched her season high with six assists, which matched her season high originally set at Vanderbilt (Jan. 22).
Freshman center Elem Ibiam's five blocked shots against Eastern Michigan were the most by a Gamecock in the NCAA Tournament. The mark also ties her for the South Carolina freshman single-game record, matching Lakesha Tolliver (vs. South Carolina State, 12/22/04) and Petra Ujhelyi (vs. Tennessee, 1/14/00).
Senior guard Markeshia Grant has led the team in scoring 10 times this season, including Saturday's win over Eastern Michigan, to tie senior guard La'Keisha Sutton for the most games atop the scoring chart this season.
South Carolina's frontcourt contributed 47.5 percent of the team's 80 points against Eastern Michigan. With 21 of the frontcourt's 38 points, forwards Charenee Stephens and Ashley Bruner were a big reason the Gamecocks shot 53.3 percent from the field. The duo combined to his 10-of-15 (.667) in the outing.
A South Carolina Win Would...
Put the Gamecocks in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the third time in school history.
Give head coach Dawn Staley her first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.
The Gamecocks' first win over Purdue in program history.
Be the Gamecocks' sixth over a ranked team this season, the most since the 2001-02 squad upended seven en route to an NCAA Elite Eight berth.
By the Numbers
2 Gamecocks that stand over six-feet tall - Elem Ibiam (6-3) and Pamela Decheva (6-1)
3 Season highs the Gamecocks set in their first-round win over Eastern Michigan - points, assists and blocked shots
4 Times this season that forward Aleighsa Welch has pulled down six offensive rebounds, the fourth-most by a freshman in school history
4.8 Rebounds per postseason game (SEC and NCAA Tournaments) by junior guard Ieasia Walker, the highest average on the team
5 Blocked shots by Elem Ibiam against Eastern Michigan (Mar. 17), the most by a Gamecock in the NCAA Tournament and tied for the South Carolina freshman single-game record
7 3-pointers by senior guard Markeshia Grant at Tennessee (Feb. 2), which is tied for the most in the SEC this season
7.9 Margin of defeat in the Gamecocks' nine losses this season, including five games decided by five or fewer points
8 Wins in a row by the Gamecocks (Dec. 11-Jan. 8), the longest win streak of the Staley era and the longest for the program since 2003-04
8.7 Points per game from freshman guard Tina Roy in three games at the SEC Tournament, after entering the event averaging 4.1 points
9 Games this season that junior guard Ieasia Walker has handed out five or more assists, during which the Gamecocks are 7-2
11 Games this season decided by five or fewer points, during which South Carolina is 6-5, including a 4-3 mark in SEC action
14 Games in which South Carolina has held its opponent to 48 or fewer points, all Gamecock victories
16 Rank of senior guard La'Keisha Sutton on the Gamecocks' career points list (1,271)
18 Games in which South Carolina has allowed under 20.0 percent shooting from 3-point range, including six games of not allowing a single made 3-pointer
19 Rank of senior forward Charenee Stephens on the Gamecocks' career rebounds list (592)
23 Games this season in which the Gamecock defense held its opponent to 55 or fewer points, during which South Carolina is 18-4
26 Games in which South Carolina has led at halftime, during which the Gamecocks were 23-3
66 Games won by this year's senior class (assumes four-year careers), making it the most since the 2005 class also captured 66
Purdue Series Notes
The Boilermakers lead the all-time series 2-0 with a pair of international wins over the Gamecocks. The two programs first met in the Torneo de Basquetbol in Cancun, Mexico, on Nov. 26, 2001, when Purdue collected a 68-53 win. The gap narrowed five years later to the day when the Boilermakers earned a 56-48 win in the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas.
Interestingly, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is 1-0 against Purdue after leading her Temple team to a 61-47 win over the Boilermakers on Nov. 24, 2007, in the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
South Carolina has a 187-231 (.447) all-time record on the road. The Gamecocks' best season on the road was 1979-80 when they went 11-4. Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 18-25 in road games. In her 11th season as a head coach, Staley has a 80-71 road record.