Date: Sunday, November 18, 2012 Time: 3 p.m. Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena Tickets: General Admission $1 TV: SportSouth (Andy Demetra and Debbie Antonelli) Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller); GamecocksOnline.com Live Stats:GamecocksOnline.com CU Series: CU leads 33-24; In Columbia: SC leads 16-10; In Clemson: CU leads 20-6; At Neutral Site: SC leads 2-0
At halftime of today's game, the Gamecocks will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Colonial Life Arena, a building the women's team opened with a 72-58 win over Clemson in front of a program-record 17,712 fans on November 22, 2002.
Senior guard Ieasia Walker became the 50th Gamecock to play in 100 career games against Savannah State (Nov. 15).
The Gamecocks have handed out 15 or more assists in each game this season, highlighted by a 20-assist game at Louisiana Tech (Nov. 12), where South Carolina made 30 field goals.
A South Carolina Win Would...
Make the Gamecocks 4-0 on the season, the program's best start since the 2002-03 team went 8-0.
Be the Gamecocks' third-straight victory over the Lady Tigers, the longest win streak against their arch-rival since also winning three straight from January 2006 through December 2007.
By the Numbers 4 Statistical categories in which South Carolina leads the SEC - scoring margin (+29.3), field goal percentage (.465), rebounding margin (+19.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6:1) 4 Gamecocks averaging double-figure points this season - Bruner (13.3), Welch (12.0), Walker (11.0) and Mitchell (10.7) 9 Number of 3-pointers made by the Gamecocks against Savannah State (Nov. 15), tying for the most in the Dawn Staley era, most recently coming against Ole Miss on Jan. 26, 2012 25 Games in the Dawn Staley era in which the Gamecocks have scored 70 or more points, including the first three this season. The team is 22-3 in those contests. 33 Points that separated South Carolina from Elon in the home opener, the third-largest margin of victory in the Dawn Staley era and the team's fifth margin of victory to exceed 30 points since the start of the 2011-12 season 53 Rebounds by the Gamecocks against Elon, tied for the most in the Dawn Staley era, matching the effort against Brown on Dec. 29, 2009 82 Points scored by the Gamecocks at Louisiana Tech, the third-highest scoring game in the Staley era
Clemson Series Notes
The Lady Tigers lead the series 33-24, but the Gamecocks have won five of the last seven meetings, including each of the last two. Additionally, South Carolina holds a 16-10 advantage over Clemson in games played in Columbia. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is currently 2-2 against the Lady Tigers in her tenure in Columbia.
The Gamecocks' most recent victory over Clemson was a 65-48 decision on Nov. 17, 2011, at Littlejohn Coliseum. South Carolina used an explosive first half to jump out to a 43-26 lead at halftime and held on for a more evenly matched second half.
South Carolina's last win over the Lady Tigers at Colonial Life Arena came on Nov. 18, 2010, by a 73-59 score. Then-sophomore Ieasia Walker announced her arrival as a premier scorer with 30 points on 13-of-19 shooting.
Last Time Out
South Carolina posted its second 30-point win of the season in a 78-47 win over Savannah State on Thursday night at Colonial Life Arena. Another balanced offensive effort and strong production on the glass led to four Gamecocks in double-figure points and two with 12 rebounds each. Sophomore forward Aleighsa Welch collected her first career double-double with a game-high 13 points to go with her career-high-tying 12 boards. A trio of Gamecocks handed out four or more assists as the team finished with 18 assists on 31 baskets.
With arguably the best point guard in international women's basketball history at the helm, South Carolina has been at its best when its assist numbers are highest. In the Dawn Staley era (2008-09 through present), the Gamecocks are 50-18 when handing out 10 or more assists, including a perfect 3-0 mark this season. When missing the 10-assist plateau, South Carolina is just 18-41 overall with Staley.
The Gamecocks have handed out 15 or more assists in all three games this season and have assisted on 57.6 percent of their total field goals (53 assists on 92 made field goals). At Louisiana Tech (Nov. 12), South Carolina amassed 20 assists on its 30 made baskets.
High Octane Offense
South Carolina's offense has been clicking early this season with the Gamecocks averaging 79.0 points through the first three outings. In head coach Dawn Staley's fifth season, South Carolina has scored 70 or more points just 25 times, including all three games this season, in her 128 games at the helm with a 22-3 record in those high-scoring outings. The Gamecocks posted 70 or more points just five times last season, including the first two games of the NCAA Tournament. The high flying offense has been almost just as likely to come out on the road as it has at Colonial Life Arena with 15 of the contests played at home (13-2), six on the road (6-0) and four at neutral sites (3-1).
Sharing the Load
With five active returning players and five newcomers on this season's roster, South Carolina has to rely on the talent of its youth this season, especially early, and so far, the quintet is doing a nice job of sharing the load. Through the first three games, returning Gamecocks are the leaders in the major statistical categories - points per game (Ashley Bruner, 13.3), rebounds per game (Aleighsa Welch, 9.7) and assists per game (Ieasia Walker, 5.7). But the newcomers have accounted for 43.5 percent of the team's scoring (103 of 237 points) and 38.6 percent of the rebounding (49 of 127 boards). One of the four Gamecocks currently averaging double-figure points is a freshman (Tiffany Mitchell, 10.7 ppg) and two of the top four rebounders on the squad are first-year Gamecocks as well (Asia Dozier 5.0 rpg; Mitchell, 5.0 rpg).