Dec. 2, 2017
#5/6 South Carolina vs #14/16 Duke
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 5/6 South Carolina will a nationally ranked opponent for the first time this season when No. 14/16 Duke comes to Colonial Life Arena for a noon tipoff on Sun., Dec. 3. The Gamecocks are 1-1 against ranked teams so far this season, defeating then-No. 15/13 Maryland on the road and falling to then-No. 6/6 Notre Dame in the championship game of the Gulf Coast Showcase. Doors open for the Star Wars-themed game at 11 a.m.
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
In the Dawn Staley era, the Gamecocks are 51-46 against nationally ranked opponents, though the number is skewed somewhat by her early “building seasons” in Columbia. Since the start of the 2014-15 seasons, South Carolina is 36-7 against ranked foes, including a 35-4 mark when toting a better ranking than its opponent.
By the Numbers
1 Gamecock in the Dawn Staley era who has recorded a double-double that included assists – Tyasha Harris 10 pts/10 assists vs. Western Carolina (Nov. 30)
Duke Series Notes
The Gamecocks are 3-2 all-time against the Blue Devils with three of those game featuring both teams ranked in the AP top 15, as they are today. South Carolina won the only previous meeting between the two in Columbia with a 66-55 decision on Dec. 6, 2015, when the Gamecocks were ranked No. 2 and Duke was No. 14 in the AP Poll. Duke claimed the most recent matchup, as the unranked Blue Devils upset third-ranked South Carolina 74-63 in Durham as the Gamecocks suffered a pair of tough-shooting second and third quarters. The more iconic matchup in the Dawn Staley era of the series was the Gamecocks’ previous visit to Durham on Dec. 7, 2014. Ranked No. 1 in the nation, South Carolina needed late-game heroics to hold off No. 9 Duke in a low-scoring affair. After trailing by four at halftime, the Gamecocks surged ahead early in the second half. The Blue Devils reclaimed held a 50-46 lead with 42 seconds to play. Tiffany Mitchell hit a tough 3 from the top of the arc with 19 seconds on the clock. The Gamecocks aggressively trapped Rebecca Greenwell on the sideline on the in-bounds play, stripping the then-freshman and calling timeout with 11 seconds to go. With four seconds on the clock, Mitchell drove for a layup that missed, but then-freshman A’ja Wilson reeled in the miss and quickly went back up for the short jumper that delivered the 51-50 victory.
Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 51-46 against nationally ranked opponents, although that record is skewed by the early seasons of her tenure as the Gamecocks are 36-7 versus ranked foes since the start of the 2014-15 campaign. South Carolina is 17-5 against top-10 opponents during that time. Staley’s Gamecocks are 18-18 against ranked opponents in Colonial Life Arena after 14 of the last 15 such contests dating back to the start of the 2013-14 season.
They’re Free, Take Two!
Built around an inside presence for the last three seasons, South Carolina retains its annual spot among the top teams in free throws made and attempted this season. The Gamecocks are second in the nation in both free throws made (142) and attempted (201). They trail just Kent State’s totals of 148 and 204, respectively.
Junior transfer Alexis Jennings has strengthened the Gamecocks’ frontcourt, providing a steady, physical presence in the lane. After averaging 8.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in her two seasons at Kentucky, the powerful post has elevated her play this season. Jennings is third in the SEC in field goal percentage (.655) and 20th in rebounding (6.6 rpg). Both her scoring and rebounding were on display early against the historically strong rebounding Maryland team as she picked up her first double-double in a Gamecock uniform with 12 points and a team-high 13 boards. She has four other double-figure scoring games this season, including a 25-point outing against St. John’s (Nov. 25).
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