Gamecocks Open Battle 4 Atlantis Saturday vs. Buffalo
#1/1 SOUTH CAROLINA (3-0) vs. BUFFALO (1-0)
NOVEMBER 20, 2021 | 7:30 P.M. ET | PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS | IMPERIAL ARENA
This tournament is the 10th Thanksgiving-timed event that head coachDawn Staleyhas brought her Gamecocks, who are 17-6 at those events. Her team has claimed the tournament or bracket title of those events six times, including last season's victory at the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D.
South Carolina's schedule has 10 confirmed games against teams ranked one or both preseason polls. Depending on the outcome of games this weekend, two more could be added to the schedule, which would tie Stanford for the most in the country at 12.
The Gamecock defense is holding opponents to just 47.7 points per game this season. The group has locked up an opponent for single-digit scoring quarters three times over the last two games, including a second quarter against Clemson (Nov. 17) in which the Tigers did not make a field goal.
Senior point guardDestanni Hendersonis mastering the balance of scoring and distributing this season as she leads the team with 15.0 points per game (10th in the SEC) and 5.3 assists per game (4th in the SEC). She is the team's most efficient outside shooter (.636 (7-of-11), and also pulls down 4.7 rebounds per game.
While juniorAliyah Bostonhandles all the attention opponents give her on offense, she has continued to thrive on the defensive end, where she ranks ninth in the nation with 3.33 blocks per game.
Behind a full complement of returning veterans, four of the Gamecocks' five newcomers have seen their first action in the Garnet & Black. The quartet has contributed 11.3 points per game on 52.0 percent shooting (13-of-25) and averaged 9.0 rebounds.
JuniorZia Cookehas scored in double figures in 54 of her career 67 games, including the last eight. Her points have come efficiently, shooting 44.8 percent from the field.
The Bad Boy Mowers Women's Battle 4 Atlantis continues Sunday with the Gamecocks playing either No. 9/9 Oregon or Oklahoma at either 2:30 p.m. (if win Saturday) or 7:30 p.m. (if lose Saturday).
BY THE NUMBERS
3 –Destanni Hendersonranks among the SEC's top 10 in three categories – scoring average (14.5), assists per game (5.3), made 3s per game 2.3.
5 –The Gamecocks have held an opponent without a field goal for a quarter five times in the last three seasons – twice in its last five games.
57.1 –JuniorBrea Bealis shooting 57.1 percent from the field, including 60.0 percent (3-of-5) from 3-point range, to average 6.3 points
The Buffalo Series
South Carolina holds a 2-0 lead in the all-time series with Buffalo, including a 79-63 win in the 2018 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Albany.
The Gamecocks are 145-94 (.607) all-time on a neutral court. South Carolina head coachDawn Staleyis 62-26 in games played at neutral sites, including a 24-11 mark in regular-season games.
In the Bahamas
The Gamecocks are 2-2 all-time in games played in the Bahamas after a pair of appearances in the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport. One of those trips was under head coachDawn Staleywith the then-No. 1 Gamecocks winning their bracket of the 2014 Junkanoo Jam with wins over Wisconsin and then-No. 22 Syracuse.
Three for All
South Carolina has picked up right where it left off in the 2021 NCAA Tournament from 3-point range when the Gamecocks netted eight 3s against Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16 round and nine against Stanford in the Final Four.
This season, South Carolina is averaging 6.3 made 3s, making eight threes in each of its last two games. The shots are falling efficiently as well, shooting 41.0 percent (16-of-39) in those two outings.
Destanni Henderson'ssterling 63.6 percent (7-of-11) accuracy from long range ranks 20th in the country, and she has hit at least three 3s in each of the last two games.Brea Bealis not far behind at 60.0 percent (3-of-5), andZia Cookerounds out the starting guard trio with 40.0 percent (4-of-10) outside shooting.