Gamecock Women Tip Off 2016-2017 Season Tonight

Date: Mon., Nov. 14, 2016

Tipoff: 6 p.m.

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Arena: Value City Arena (18,809)

Tickets: $8-14

Watch On: Big Ten Network 2 Go (Nate Rubinstein, play-by-play; Dylan Tyrer,analyst)

Broadcast: 107.5 The Game (Brad Muller)


  • • South Carolina begins its 43rd season of women’s basketball tonight and its ninth under the tutelage of head coach Dawn Staley.
  • • The Gamecocks enter the season ranked in the top five of both the AP and USA Today/Coaches Polls. South Carolina is one of two programs in the nation to appear in every AP top five since the start of the 2014-15 season and one of three to appear in every top 10 in that time.
  • •  Tonight is the first of three games against top-10 opponents that South Carolina will face in the first three weeks of the season.
  • •  The Gamecocks are opening the season against the Buckeyes for the second time in as many seasons. South Carolina surged late to escape last season’s debut with an 88-80 victory at Colonial Life Arena.
  • •  South Carolina is one of three teams in the nation to return multiple AP All-Americans this season in senior center Alaina Coates (honorable mention) and junior forward A’ja Wilson (first team).
  • • The Gamecocks have led the nation in average attendance each of the last two seasons, drawing 14,364 fans per game in 2015-16. South Carolina is on track again to make their mark on the attendance standings with 10,000 season tickets distributed this season.


2 Returning starters from last season’s NCAA Sweet 16 squad, both of whom are All-Americans
12 Games this season against an opponent ranked in the preseason polls, including three top-10 matchups in the first three weeks
32 First-team All-America votes for A’ja Wilson from AP voters out of a possible 33
42 Points scored by returning Gamecocks in last season’s 88-80 win over Ohio State
74 Appearances in the AP Top 25 in the 79 polls released since the start of the 2012-13 season


South Carolina evened the all-time series against the Buckeyes with last season’s 88-80 win at Colonial Life Arena. A 10-0 run over the final two minutes delivered the win, and eventual All-Americans Alaina Coates and A’ja Wilson delivered all 10 en route to finishing that season opener with double-doubles. Last season’s contest was the first meeting in the series since 1980-81. The home team has won every game of the series.


The Gamecocks are 30-12 all-time in season openers with a 9-8 record in openers played on the road. Head coach Dawn Staley has led South Carolina to a 6-2 record on opening day, including a 1-1 mark when opening against a nationally ranked opponent — 88-80 over #6/10 Ohio State, 11/13/15; 84-65 loss to #5/6 Xavier, 11/15/10.


South Carolina comes into this season ranked as high as No. 2 and as low as No. 7 in the various preseason polls. The two season-long polls — Associated Press and USA Today Coaches — have the Gamecocks at No. 4 and No. 3, respectively. The AP’s top-five ranking keep South Carolina as one of two programs in the nation to hold a ranking that high every week since the start of the 2014-15 season.


Under head coach Dawn Staley, South Carolina is 38-44 against nationally ranked opponents. That record is skewed by the early seasons of her tenure as the Gamecocks are 27-10 against ranked teams over the last three seasons, including a 23-5 mark in the last two campaigns. In the last two seasons, South Carolina is 9-3 against top-10 opponents.

FOUR X 1,000

South Carolina boasts four 1,000-point scorers on this season’s roster, led by Alaina Coates (1,241) and A’ja Wilson (1,016). Junior transfers Kaela Davis (1,246 at Georgia Tech) and Allisha Gray (1,053 at North Carolina). All four have been first-team all-conference selections in their respective leagues as well.


Five new Gamecocks join the fold this season with the four freshmen ready to take the court right away. Junior forward Alexis Jennings will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. Guard Tyasha Harris(Noblesville, Ind.) headlines the freshman class, coming off a summer spent helping the U.S. to its seventh-straight gold medal in the FIBA U18 Americas Championship. Araion Bradshaw (Hyde Park, Mass.) and Victoria Patrick (Orlando, Fla.) join her in the guard spot. Bradshaw is point guard with good court vision, and Patrick comes in as a scorer to help stretch the floor. Forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan rounds out the class, bringing athleticism, speed and perimeter shooting to the team.


Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks