South Carolina hopes to build on solid first half against No. 3/4 Stanford Friday to get back on winning track against Charlotte.
Dec. 20, 2008
Last Time Out
After trailing by just nine at the half, South Carolina struggled on offense in the second period and fell to No. 3/4 Stanford 78-47 tonight at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks lost the battle of the boards for just the second time this season as Stanford's solid frontline posted a 53-21 rebounding advantage. Senior Brionna Dickerson and freshman LaKeisha Sutton paced the Gamecocks offense with 11 and 13 points, respectively.
South Carolina leads the series 14-5 after Charlotte won the most recent meeting, a 78-72 decision on Nov. 30, 2004, in Columbia. Prior to that game, the Gamecocks had won eight straight against the 49ers. South Carolina holds an 8-2 edge over Charlotte in games played in Columbia. The 49ers' last win over the Gamecocks in Columbia was a 69-52 decision on Jan. 9, 1992. South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is a perfect 3-0 against the 49ers as her Temple Owls played in the Atlantic 10 Conference with Charlotte for the last two seasons.
Freshman Miranda Tate is still being evaluated after suffering a left knee injury against Stanford and will not play Sunday. Freshman Tonia Williams suffered a broken nose in practice this week and has not played in the last two games. Freshman Sada Wheeler is not with the team during the semester break for personal reasons, and her return is undetermined. Freshman Charenee Stephens will not suit up for the Gamecocks for an unspecified period of time for personal reasons.
A South Carolina Win Would ...
Be the Gamecocks' third in the last four games.
Be the Gamecocks' first on live television this season.
Make the Gamecocks 22-8 all-time against Atlantic 10 Conference teams.
Be head coach Dawn Staley's fourth straight over Charlotte.
Give Staley a 117-29 record against teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference, in which she spent her first eight seasons as a head coach.
Scouting the 49ers
Charlotte is coming off an eight-day break between games with an 8-2 record, including a 6-1 mark away from its home court. Three 49ers average double-figure points with junior guard Aysha Jones leading the way with 15.1 points per outing on 53.7 percent shooting, including 46.4 percent from 3-point range. Junior forward Erin Floyd lead the team by hitting 58.2 percent from the field, the 17th-best percentage in the country, for her 12.6 ppg, and sophomore guard Shannon McCallum rounds out the double-digit scorers with 10.9 points per game. Senior forward/center Danielle Burgin paces the 49ers on the glass with 7.6 rebounds per game and gets plenty of help from McCallum (5.8 rpg) and junior forward Ashley Spriggs (5.0 rpg). As a team, the 49ers are scoring 71.3 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting, including 34.9 percent from 3-point range, and out-rebound opponents by 5.2 boards per game. Opponents have scored 60.0 points per game on 35.5 percent shooting, including 32.7 percent from the 3-point line. Head coach Karen Aston is in her fourth season at Charlotte with a 40-60 record, giving her a 16-year career mark of 256-199.
Season tickets are available at two prices. Fans who purchase four season tickets qualify for the Family 4-Pack pricing at $100. Fans who purchase fewer than four pay the full price of $50 per season ticket. Single-game tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for youth (18 and under). For more information or to order tickets, contact the South Carolina Ticket Office toll free at 800-4SC-FANS or locally at 803-777-4274. Fans can also order tickets via the athletics web site, GamecocksOnline.com.
The Gold Standard
While head coach Dawn Staley has become synonymous with Olympic gold, the entire South Carolina coaching staff boasts a wealth of experience and achievement. Including assistant coaches Lisa Boyer, Carla McGhee and Nikki McCray, the Gamecock women's basketball staff has combined for 39 years of coaching experience, 29 years of playing professionally in the United States, seven Olympic gold medals and two NCAA National Championships.
Know When to Hold `Em
With an offense that scores just 55.9 points per game, the Gamecocks have relied on a stingy defense to stay in and win games this season. The effort has made South Carolina the sixth-stingiest team in the SEC and the 19th-best defense in the country (through games of Dec. 14) as the Gamecocks have allowed just 56.0 points per game. In fact, only two teams on the schedule (Stanford and Wake Forest) have scored more than 57 points on the Gamecocks this season.
Opponents may find it difficult to scout the Gamecocks offense so far this season as the team has five different players lead the offense through nine games this season. Only seniors Demetress Adams and Brionna Dickerson and freshman LaKeisha Sutton have been the high scorer multiple times.
Doing the Double-Double
South Carolina senior Demetress Adams is tied for the SEC lead with four double-doubles this season, and she has reached that number in two fewer games than player with whom she shares the top spot as Eleia Roddy of Kentucky has reached the mark in 11 outings. In her career, Adams has posted 16 double-doubles, and the Gamecocks are 13-3 in those games.
Freshman guard LaKeisha Sutton returned to the starting lineup against USC Upstate and rewarded her coach's decision with a game-high 24 points against the Spartans. Sutton moved into third on the team in scoring with 8.6 points per game, and with relentless drives to the basket has made more free throws (24) than all but one of her teammates has even taken. Against Upstate, Sutton went to the free throw line 14 times, the second-most by a Gamecock freshman in school history. The mark was just one off the freshman record of 15 set by Schonna Banner against Cincinnati on Jan. 9, 1987.
Senior Brionna Dickerson has scored in double figures seven times this season, including a three-game stretch during which she scored 15 points per outing. That surge, which included both games of the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic and yielded Tournament MVP honors, moved her into the SEC's top 20 with 11.3 points per game. The Gamecocks' purest shooter, Dickerson found her stroke in Cancun and has been on a tear ever since. In the last four games she has scored 13.4 points per game on 45.5 percent shooting.
Chairman of the Boards
Senior Demetress Adams third in the SEC with 8.8 rebounds per game. She has been atop the standings in the category for most of the season thanks to grabbing double-digit boards in five of the Gamecocks' first nine games. Since returning from Cancun, Adams has picked up her offensive output as well, recording double-doubles in three of the first four games back in the U.S.
Uncovering a Jewel of a Player
Sophomore Jewel May has been in the starting lineup every game this season and has made an impact each time. After seeing limited action as a freshman, May now finds herself as a key member of the frontcourt. She has risen to the challenge, ranking 19th in the SEC in rebounding 5.9 boards per game. She is the Gamecocks top free throw shooter, hitting 70.4 percent from the charity stripe.
In Colonial Times
While the Gamecocks' home court may have taken on a new name, South Carolina continues to enjoy a decisive advantage in Colonial Life Arena. Despite a loss in the 2008-09 home opener, South Carolina has won 66.3 percent (69-35) of its games at the facility. The Gamecocks won a high of 15 games in the building in the 2006-07 season and lost a record-low two games in 16 home contests in 2002-03. In non-conference games, South Carolina has a 51-10 record in Colonial Life Arena for a .836 winning percentage.
The Gamecocks have a 134-72 record all-time in the month of December, including Friday's loss to No. 3/4 Stanford. South Carolina has gone undefeated in the last month of the year four times, including a 7-0 mark in the 2001-02 season. The most recent perfect December was a 6-0 record in the 2005-06 season. The Gamecocks are 76-21 at home in December and 31-28 on the road. The gap narrows to 22-20 in December games played at a neutral site. (Seven games in the Gamecock history books do not indicate the site of the contest, during which Carolina is 5-2.) This season, the Gamecocks have seven games scheduled in December with six of them to be played at Colonial Life Arena. So far this month, Carolina is 2-2.
It's a Block Party!
After recording 55 blocked shots in 2007-08, the third-most in school history, senior Demetress Adams looks to continue her charge up the Gamecocks' career blocked shots list. She needs just five to meet former teammate Ilona Burgrova's 133 in third place.
Career Blocked Shots
1. 177 Lakesha Tolliver (2004-08)
2. 148 Michelle Murray (1989-93)
3. 133 Ilona Burgrova (2004-08)
4. 128 Demetress Adams (2005-present)
South Carolina senior Demetress Adams earned a spot the Preseason All-SEC Second Team earlier this month. Adams was a second-team all-conference selection by both the coaches and the media in 2007-08 after averaging 10.9 points and 8.9 rebounds.
The Adams Family
Senior Demetress Adams (Bishopville, S.C./Lee Central) is third in the SEC with 8.8 rebounds per game ... is second on the team and 24th in the SEC with 10.8 points per game ... is fifth in the league with 30.8 minutes per game, 11th in blocked shots (1.0 bpg) and 11th in steals (2.0 spg) ... has recorded four double-doubles this season and has been the team's leading rebounder five times ... battled the vaunted frontcourt of No. 3/4 Stanford for nine points and three rebounds ... recorded her third double-double in as many games with 16 points and 12 rebounds against USC Upstate while adding three blocks and five steals to the defensive effort.
What Do You Serve With Brie?
Senior Brionna Dickerson (Columbia, S.C./Heathwood Hall) is the Gamecocks' leading scorer and ranks 17th in the SEC with 11.3 points per game ... is second in the league with 33.9 minutes played per game and ranks 12th in 3-point field goals made (1.2 per game) ... added 11 points against No. 3/4 Stanford ... tied her season high for the fourth time with 15 points against USC Upstate while snagging three offensive rebounds and handing out three assists.
You Can Call Me Cocoa
Sophomore Lauren Falohun (Atlanta, Ga./Pace Academy) averages 4.1 points and 2.2 assists ... came off the bench for the first time this season against USC Upstate, grabbing a career-high five rebounds and swiping a career-best four steals.
The Kennedy Legacy
Sophomore Samone Kennedy (Birmingham, Ala./Ramsay) is second on the team with 2.1 assists per game ... scored four points and handed out two assists against No. 3/4 Stanford ... earned her first start of the season against USC Upstate and netted 10 points, swiped three steals and tied for team-high honors with four assists.
Jewel of the Nile
Sophomore Jewel May (Conyers, Ga./Heritage) has started every game this season ... is second on the team with 5.9 rebounds per game, 12th-best in the SEC, to go with 5.4 points per outing.
A Newton of Force
Redshirt freshman Courtney Newton (Flowery Branch, Ga./Flowery Branch) has played in six games after missing the first two games with a right knee injury ... provided great energy off the bench and grabbed three rebounds in just six minutes against No. 3/4 Stanford ... saw her most minutes of the season with 17 against USC Upstate and matched her career high with four rebounds.
Set the Pace
Senior C.J. Pace (Snellville, Ga./Chipola College) averages 5.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game ... came off the bench against No. 3/4 Stanford after missing one game with a right ankle sprain and led the team with six rebounds to go with six points.
Freshman LaKeisha Sutton (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) is the team's third-highest scorer with 9.1 points per game ... is 12th in the SEC with a .612 free-throw percentage ... led the team with 13 points against No. 3/4 Stanford ... turned in an outstanding all-around game against USC Upstate, scoring a game-high 24 points to go with four assists and three steals.
Freshman Miranda Tate (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) is scoring 4.3 points per game ... left the Stanford game with a left knee injury ... did not play against USC Upstate due to a hamstring injury.