Home sweet home awaits the South Carolina Gamecocks. After a big comeback win against the #9 Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday evening, the ladies return to the CLA as they look to stretch the nation's longest active home winning streak to 42. Here's our preview of another big one as nationally-ranked Texas A&M comes to town.
#2 South Carolina Gamecocks (16-0, 4-0 SEC) vs. #15 Texas A&M Aggies (13-4, 3-1 SEC)
When: Sunday, January 17, 2016, 1:30 p.m. ET
Where: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC
How to Watch: ESPN2
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com
1. What do the Aggies, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, UConn, and Notre Dame have in common? They're the only teams that have beaten the Gamecocks in the past two and a half seasons. Since losing to A&M on January 16, 2014 (by two points in overtime), Carolina has gone 63-6, with defeats coming at the Vols (March 2, 2014); against Kentucky in the 2014 SEC Tournament (March 8, 2014); against North Carolina in the 2014 NCAA Tournament (March 30, 2014); and against UConn, Kentucky and Notre Dame last year (February 9, March 1, and April 5, respectively).
2. The Gamecocks will face the SEC's second leading scorer this afternoon in senior Courtney Walker. The first-team All-SEC pick and All-American is playing right up to her billing, dropping in 17.5 points a game and trailing Mississippi State's Victoria Vivans by half a point for the conference lead. As a team, the Aggies don't shoot a ton of three-pointers (only about eight a game), so cutting them off inside and forcing them into longer-distance attempts would be beneficial.
3. How do the Gamecocks rank in several key stats? A'ja Wilson is fifth in the conference with 16.4 ppg and leads with 3.1 blocks an outing. Alaina Coates is the most accurate shooter in the league, draining 69.8% of her attempts, about eight percentage points better than Tennessee's Bashaara Graves. Coates and Wilson are also tied on the leaderboard in rebounds with 9.4 a game, behind Kentucky's Evelyn Akhator for first.