Tag Archives: auburn

Top of the Key: WBB vs. Auburn

The Gamecocks begin their week on the road tonight against Auburn at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum at 6 p.m. Listen live on 1320 AM (in Columbia) or on GamecocksOnline.com. Brad Muller and Marcy Girton will have the call.

South Carolina (11-10, 4-5) Notes

  • The Gamecocks have a winning record of 5-3 against Auburn’s Head Coach Nell Fortner.
  • A South Carolina victory would give the Gamecocks five SEC victories, the most since the 2008 squad collected six.
  • The Gamecocks have a 4-3 edge in the last seven meetings including the 63-49 victory in Columbia to start this season’s series.
  • La’Keisha Sutton, who is hitting an SEC-best 64.7 percent from behind the arc through nine SEC contests, led the Gamecocks in points against Tennessee with 19.  Sutton is third on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game, 24th best in the SEC.
  • South Carolina guard Valerie Ninima has been the Gamecocks’ leading scorer 10 times this season, during which the team has a 6-4 record. She has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.

Auburn (12-10, 3-6) Notes

  • The Tigers lead the series 19-13 and are 10-4 at Auburn.
  • The Gamecocks have not defeated the Tigers at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum since February 16, 2006.
  • Auburn is coming off a 67-53 win over ninth-ranked Georgia.
  • Tonight marks the fourth time head coach Nell Fortner has had to face another Olympic coach. She has also coached three of the four members on South Carolina’s coaching staff.
  • Junior guard Allie Smalley had 12 points and 4 rebounds at South Carolina on Jan. 17, and has scored more than 20 points in each of the last two games.
  • Center senior KeKe Carrier leads the SEC in conference-only games with 3.2 blocks per game, and is coming off a 15 point, 9 rebound, 4 block effort against Georgia. She led the Tigers with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocks in the last contest against USC.
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WBB Post-Game Blog: Winning the Battle

Key Factor

Strong post defense was the emphasis for the Gamecocks as they prepared for Sunday’s game against Auburn.

The big reason?

Auburn’s 6’7 center KeKe Carrier.

“We had to win the post battle tonight,” said freshman Kelsey Bone. “I’d never played anyone that size before, so it was something new for me.”

Bone and Charenee Stephens caused problems for Carrier in the paint all afternoon – winning that post battle to guide South Carolina to a 63-49 win against the Tigers.

“They played really well defensively,” said Carrier. “We tried to take it to them, but they kept giving it back. They did a good job dropping down other players to defend me.”

Bone also made another strong impact offensively, scoring 15 points for the Gamecocks.

“Tonight was one of her best performances,” said South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley. “She played at a different pace where she can do a lot more. ”

Bone finished the game with 9 rebounds, falling a rebound shy of her sixth double-double of the season.

Key Box Score

Total FG-FGA 3 pt FG-FGA FT-FTA Rebs Pts Assts TO Blk Stl Min
G Valerie Nainima 7-14 6-9 0-0 1 20 4 1 0 1 36

Nainima maintained her streak of scoring in double figures in every game this season and also hit a career-high six 3-pointers tonight.

“She’s just such a dangerous player from anywhere on the floor,” said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner of Nainima.

“We’ve talked to Val about sometimes sneaking around the offense,” said Staley. “We want her to get the defense not thinking about her and then all of a sudden get more aggressive. ”

Key Stats

  • South Carolina hit eight 3-pointers Sunday, equaling their season-high. The Gamecocks had eight 3-pointers against Alabama.
  • The Gamecocks continue to be sharp from behind the arc, shooting above 50% for the third straight game.
  • The Gamecocks only turned the ball over 11 times, a season-low.
  • South Carolina out-rebounded an opponent for their third time in a row – pulling down 38 to Auburn’s 31.
  • It was another double-digit assist game for South Carolina (third straight). The Gamecocks dished out 13 against the Tigers.

Key Quote

“It feels good because of the way we’re winning – we’re playing more disciplined basketball, we’re out-hustling to get the wins,” – Head Coach Dawn Staley.

“It’s really exciting to see the tide changing and the building of a tradition and this being the foundation for it,” – Kelsey Bone.

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Top of the Key: WBB vs. Auburn

The women’s basketball team hosts Auburn today at Colonial Life Arena at 3 p.m. You can listen live on 1320 AM (Columbia) or on GamecocksOnline.com. Tickets are still available – visit GamecocksOnline.com or stop by the Colonial Life Arena box office. Single game tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for youth.If you have a ticket from the men’s game last night, you can get in free to this afternoon’s game.

South Carolina (9-7, 2-2) Notes

  • Five Gamecocks have scored in double figures in the team’s last two games.
  • A win today would be the program’s 600th all-time.
  • South Carolina’s RPI is 32 – good for 4th best in the league.
  • The Gamecocks are shooting a league best 46.5% from behind the arc in the team’s first four league games.
  • South Carolina has reached the 70-point mark five times this season and is 6-2 in those games. In the Dawn Staley era, the Gamecocks are 10-3 when they score 70 or more.
  • Junior guard Valerie Nainima averages 18.7 ppg and ranks No. 33 in the nation in scoring average. She has reached double figures in every game this season.
  • Freshman Kelsey Bone averages 14.4 ppg and an SEC-best 9.9 rebounds per game. She was just a rebound shy of her sixth double-double of the season in the team’s last game against Kentucky.

Auburn (11-6, 2-2) Notes

  • Auburn leads the all-time series 19-12, but is 7-7 in games played in Columbia.
  • The Tigers are led in scoring by Alli Smalley (15.1 ppg) and KeKe Carrier (14.8 ppg).
  • South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley played for Auburn head coach Nell Fortner in the 2000 Olympics with current Gamecock assistant Nikki McCray. McCray also played later in the WNBA for Fortner. Gameocck assistant Carla McGhee played on the ’96 US Olympic team – a team which Fortner was an assistant. McGhee also worked as an assistant at Auburn for two seasons with Fortner.
  • Auburn is on a two-game win streak in the league – defeating No. 11 LSU in OT 64-62 and beating Alabama 74-62.

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Top of the Key: MBB vs. Auburn

The men’s basketball team travels to Auburn on Saturday to open SEC play. The contest will be broadcast on the SEC Network (WIS in the Columbia area), with a pregame studio show beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET prior to the tip off of the South Carolina vs. Auburn contest at 1:47 p.m. ET. Dave Lamont and Joe Dean will have the call on the SEC Network, while Andy Demetra and Casey Manning will have the call on the Gamecock ISP Sports Network. The game is also available on ESPN360.com.

Click here to download the Gamecock ISP Sports Network Scene Setter.

South Carolina (9-5, 0-0) Notes

  • The Gamecocks are 8-3 when they score at least 70 points.
  • Head Coach Darrin Horn is 67-27 all-time in league play. The Gamecocks were 10-6 in Horn’s first season in the SEC.
  • South Carolina is 2-0 vs. Auburn in SEC openers. The Gamecocks opened last season SEC’s action with a 68-56 vs. the Tigers.
  • The Gamecocks are still searching for their first true road away win of the season after road losses at Clemson, Wofford and Boston College.
  • Senior point guard Devan Downey leads the team in scoring with 18.5 ppg. He has led or shared the team lead in 10 games this season for Carolina.
  • Downey needs just 39 points to reach 1,500 points in his career as a Gamecock. Only eight players have reached that mark in South Carolina Basketball history.
  • South Carolina leads the SEC in steals with 9.7 steals per game. The Gamecocks finished the season last year with the league lead with 9.1 per game.

Auburn (9-6, 0-0) Notes

  • DeWayne Reed leads the Tigers with 15.7 ppg. He also leads the team in assists with 4.5 per game.
  • Auburn’s most notable win of the season with a 68-67 win over Virginia on Dec. 7.
  • The Tigers and Gamecocks shared two common non-conference opponents – Alabama A&M and Georgia Southern. Both Carolina and Auburn were 2-0 against those teams.
  • Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo was an assistant coach on Eddie Fogler’s 1997 South Carolina SEC Championship squad.
  • The visiting team has won six of the last seven games in the Auburn – South Carolina series. Carolina’s win last season at Colonial Life Arena was the first to break the trend.
  • Auburn’s squad includes two Palmetto State natives – seniors Lucas Hargrove and Brendon Knox. Hargrove attended Richland Northeast High School and Knox hails from Georgetown.

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