Opponent: Oregon State Beavers (24-10, 13-5 Pac-12) Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 6:40 p.m. (PT) TV: ESPN2 (Dave Fleming and Sean Farnham) Click here for coverage maps Radio: 107.5 The Game, 1320 AM The Fan (Brad Muller) Live Video:ESPN3 Series History: Never Met
South Carolina Notables
In its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, South Carolina has won at least one game in the event in all but three. The Gamecocks have reached the Sweet 16 four times, including 2012 under head coach Dawn Staley. It is the farthest into the event she has proceeded on the sidelines. As a player, she helped Virginia to three NCAA Final Four appearances.
South Carolina struggled from the free throw line for 38 of the 40 minutes against Cal State Northridge, shooting just 16-of-30, but the Gamecocks held off the Matadors' final charge by hitting 11-of-12 in the final 1:34.
In three postseason games, junior center Elem Ibiam is second on the team with 13.0 points per game on 73.9 percent shooting. She averaged 9.5 points during the regular season, shooting 53.5 percent.
Freshman center Alaina Coates is enjoying her first taste of postseason play, averaging a double-double through three games this season with 10.7 points an 11.0 rebounds per outing, blocking 10 shots over the stretch. Her 16-rebound outing against CSUN gives her the top two rebounding performances by a freshman in South Carolina history as she also holds the record of 17 reeled in against Kentucky (Jan. 9).
South Carolina earned the program's first NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed, exceeding the previous best seed of No. 3 in the 2002 event. The Gamecocks are in their third-straight NCAA Tournament the program's longest stretch of appearances since the four-year stint 1988-91.
The Gamecocks won their first SEC regular-season championship this season, adding women's basketball to the seven other program's to claim SEC titles since joining the league in 1991-92. It is the program's sixth regular-season conference title in women's basketball, but the first in the SEC. The Gamecocks exceeded all expectations with the title as the coaches predicted a fifth-place finish for them and the media rated them seventh in their preseason poll.
South Carolina ranks among the nation's most efficient offenses, shooting 48.1 percent from the field, and stingiest defenses, yielding just 55.1 points per game. The Gamecocks do a bulk of their work inside, scoring 50.7 percent of their points in the paint and ranking second in the nation with 7.3 blocked shots per game.
A South Carolina Win Would...
Send the Gamecocks to their fifth Sweet 16 in school history, second in last three seasons.
Be the Gamecocks' 29th of the season, the second most in school history behind the 1979-80 team's 30 en route to the AIAW Final Four.
By the Numbers
4 Rebounds needed by Aleighsa Welch to become the 15th Gamecock all-time to pull down at least 700 in her career, only five of which reached the mark in fewer than four seasons 9 Double-doubles by center Alaina Coates this season, tying the Gamecock freshman record for double-doubles in a season (Kelsey Bone in 2008-09) 13 Free throws made by Tiffany Mitchell against CSU Northridge (Mar. 23), the most by a Gamecock in a game this season and the fifth-most in a game in school history 14 Individual 20-point games this season by the Gamecocks - six by Tiffany Mitchell, five by Alaina Coates and three by Aleighsa Welch 33 Points needed by Alaina Coates to reach the South Carolina freshman top-five for points in a season 73.9 Percent field goal shooting by junior center Elem Ibiam in postseason play this season, giving her 13.0 points per game for second-best on the team 147 Free throws made this season by sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell, the third most in school history, 10 shy of Martha Parker's record 157 (1987-88) 233 Blocks by South Carolina this season, a new school record by 26 blocks (199 in 2006-07)
Oregon State Series
The Gamecocks and Beavers have not met before in women's basketball. South Carolina has played seven other members of the Pac-12, posting a 6-9 record. Tonight's game will be the Gamecocks' second of the season against a Pac-12 team after defeating Southern Cal 70-50 on Nov. 25 in Los Angeles.