In four days, Dawn Staley and her South Carolina women’s basketball team travel to Storrs, Connecticut, looking to end the longest winning streak in NCAA Division I history. But before the Gamecocks can get in the way of UConn and number 100, they’ll have to get past the Auburn Tigers at home Thursday night.
When: Thursday, February 9th
Tipoff: 7 p.m. EST
Where: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC
How to watch: SEC Network+
How to listen: 107.5 The Game
Three Point Preview
- Dominant and women’s basketball weren’t synonymous to the University of South Carolina’s women’s program ten years ago. Don’t look back now though, as the Gamecocks, under Dawn Staley, just secured a 20+ win regular season and a 10+ win SEC win season for the sixth straight year. There’s no better microcosm of the Gamecocks’ unheralded six season run than their ongoing series with Auburn. South Carolina has beaten the Tigers in six straight tries, with half those coming with a comfortable double digit margin. A win tonight and the Gamecocks would improve to 10-3 against Auburn in the Staley era and would gain a 22-21 overall edge in the series.
- Thursday’s matchup is the first home game since the Gamecocks’ gut wrenching 76-74 defeat to unranked Tennessee the last night of January. Since then, South Carolina has bounced back nicely as they’ve notched two straight double-digit conference wins on the road - beating Kentucky 75-63 and pouncing Arkansas 79-49. Much of their success has come from a rejuvenated success rate on the offensive end thanks to some unselfish play. In their past three SEC outings, South Carolina averaged over 73 points per game due in large part to their 15 assists per game. The offense should look to keep the efficiency up against an Auburn team they dropped 73 on a little over a month ago.
- While the Tigers started conference play off nicely with a respectable 4-1 start, they’re reeling of late, losers of 4 out of last 5 and finding themselves stuck dab in the middle of the conference standings. The Tigers are led by the guard trio of Katie Frerking, Brandy Montgomery and Janiah McKay. Each have led the Tigers in scoring throughout the season and are the only women to put up double digit points consistently for head coach Terry Williams-Flournoy’s squad. Slowing down the Tigers means slowing down these three ladies. Do that, and overcome Auburn’s defensive pressure, and the Gamecocks should have no problem notching in their 21st win on the year.