Against ranked teams, South Carolina is 105-66 (.614) in the Dawn Staley era (beginning 2008-09), and even that mark is skewed by the early seasons of her tenure.
Since the start of the 2014-15 campaign, the Gamecocks are 90-27 (.769) against ranked teams, including a 42-6 mark (.875) since the start of the 2019-20 season.
Senior Aliyah Boston has thrived in her 48 career games against ranked opponents, averaging 15.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks while shooting 53.5 percent. Senior Zia Cooke’s offense is not far behind with her 13.9 points per game in those 48 outings, including a career-best 15.3 average in this season’s six games.
This season, South Carolina is 6-0 against ranked teams, including wins over four teams currently in the top 10. The Gamecocks claimed their six wins by an average of 18.8 points with a +18.3 rebounding margin. Boston led the way with 16.8 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
South Carolina’s six wins over ranked opponents are the fourth most in the nation this season, and its three true road wins over ranked opponents are second.
The Gamecocks also have two wins over Tennessee, which moved into the AP Poll on March 13, and three wins against teams receiving votes in at least one of this week’s polls – Ole Miss (W, 64-57 ot; W, 80-51) and South Dakota State (W, 62-44).
South Carolina’s paint dominance predates the 2019 signing class, but the Gamecocks have certainly perfected it since the group’s arrival, scoring 53.5 percent of their points in the paint since the start of the 2019-20 season.
The 2019-20 team had the highest final paint points average (42.4 ppg) in this stretch, but the 2020-21 team posted the highest percentage of paint points (.551).
So far this season, the Gamecocks are posting 44.5 points per game in the paint, which accounts for 54.9 percent of their offense.
Defensively, South Carolina controls the paint as well, allowing opponents to shoot just 36.6 percent in the lane to average 22.2 points in that area. The Gamecocks have been out-scored in the paint just three times this season – at #2/2 Stanford (40-36), at Mississippi State (32-28) and at #5/4 UConn (42-38).
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