Women’s Hoops welcome Elon Friday afternoon

NOVEMBER 26, 2021 | 3 p.m. ET | COLOMBIA, SC | COLONIAL LIFE ARENA (18,000)


  • Today’s head coaches Dawn Staley and Charlotte Smith spent six seasons as teammates on WNBA’s Charlotte Sting after fighting as ACC rivals for one season (1991-92) while playing for Virginia and North Carolina, respectively.
  • South Carolina just won the title at Battle 4 Atlantis from the Bad Boy Mowers. The Gamecocks won the title in the inaugural version of the tournament with two double-digit wins over the top 10 opponents among their three wins.
  • The Gamecocks’ 6-0 record is the most impressive in the country as it includes three top 10 wins and just one home game so far.
  • The South Carolina defense garnered a lot of attention early in the season, and rightfully so with only one opponent scoring over 60 points – and this one only got 63. The effort limited an opponent with a quarter-score single-digit five times.
  • Gamecock’s offense has been exceptionally effective so far this season, ranking 15th nationally in field goal percentage shooting 49.1% from the field. That number includes 50.3% of the shots in last weekend’s Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis.
  • Junior Alyah boston was named MVP Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis after taking on her coach’s challenge to be a dominant force every minute she’s on the pitch. The National Player of the Year nominee averaged 20.3 points and 10.0 rebounds and shot 56.5 percent from the field in the event.
  • Junior Zia Cooke secured a spot on the All-Star Team of the Battle 4 Atlantis Women’s Tournament with 13.7 points per game out of 53.6% while handing out 3.7 assists per game shooting at the event. His scoring average was skewed by a slow start against Buffalo. In the Gamecocks’ last two games of the tournament, Cooke amassed 18.5 points per game.


6.7 – Kamilla Cardoso averaged 6.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in the Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis, shooting 60.0% during the event.

28 – Zia Cooke needs 28 points to reach 1000 in his career.

30 – The Gamecocks won all 30 first-place votes in this week’s AP poll. They also garnered 31 of the 32 first-place votes in the coaches poll.


The Elon series
The South Carolina-Elon series is tied 2-2 with the Gamecocks winning the only two played in the NCAA era, both coming into the Dawn Staley time.

South Carolina won the most recent meeting – a 78-63 decision on Dec. 22, 2015, in Colombia, when the Gamecocks were ranked # 2/2 in the country.

The sweetness of the home
The Gamecocks are 480-165 (0.744) all-time in home games, including a 168-34 record under the head coach Dawn Staley. His .832 home winning percentage is second among the program’s seven all-time head coaches (Pam Parsons (41-7) .854).

Playing their 19th season at Colonial Life Arena, South Carolina is posting a building record 231-67 (.775), including three seasons unbeaten since 2013-14. Staley’s share of that record is 165-34 (0.829).

Program strength
With three games against teams in this week’s AP and / or USA Today / WBCA coaching poll, South Carolina is tied with the USF for most in the country. The Gamecocks are the only team to face three top 10 teams already this season.

South Carolina’s 12 games against teams from the AP or the USA Today / WBCA preseason poll are tied with Stanford for most in the country. The Gamecocks’ six games against the top 10 preseason teams are one behind Maryland’s seven.

Paint manufacturing
South Carolina has long dominated painting on both sides of the field. This season, Staley challenged his team to be more effective in painting as well, especially in transition.

Over six games, the Gamecocks are averaging 37.0 points in the paint, accounting for 48.9% of their total offense, shooting 60.7% in that space. Post players were the dominant scorers in paint, accounting for 64.9% of paint points with 24.0 points per game.

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Margarita B. Bittner