South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball

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South Carolina Gamecocks
Basketball current event.svg 2022–23 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team
South Carolina Gamecocks logo.svg
University University of South Carolina
All-time record952–534 (.641)
Athletic director Ray Tanner
Head coach Dawn Staley (15th season)
Conference SEC
Location Columbia, South Carolina
Arena Colonial Life Arena
(Capacity: 18,000)
Nickname Gamecocks
ColorsGarnet and black [1]
   
Uniforms
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Home
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Away
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Alternate
NCAA Tournament Champions
2017, 2022
NCAA Tournament Final Four
2015, 2017, 2021, 2022
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
2002, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1982, 1990, 2002, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022
NCAA Tournament Second round
1982, 1988, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022
AIAW Tournament Final Four
1980
AIAW Tournament Elite Eight
1980
AIAW Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1980
AIAW Tournament Appearances
1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
Conference tournament champions
Metro Conference: 1986, 1988, 1989
SEC: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021
Conference regular season champions
Metro Conference: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
SEC: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2022

The South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team represents the University of South Carolina and competes in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Under current head coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks have been one of the top programs in the country, winning the NCAA Championship in 2017 and 2022. The program also enjoyed success under head coach Nancy Wilson during the 1980s in the Metro Conference, when it won five regular season conference championships and three conference tournament championships.

Contents

History

The Gamecocks first competed at an intercollegiate level in women's basketball in 1923, when they were called the Pullets (a young domestic hen, a play off "Gamecocks," which is a rooster).

The modern era of South Carolina women's basketball began when the Carolina Chicks took to the court in January 1974 under the guidance of Pam Backhaus. The inaugural team compiled a record of 15–7 and were the South Carolina AIAW champions. In 1977, with Pam Parsons as the head coach the women's basketball team, they changed their nickname to the Lady Gamecocks and made post-season trips every year during her four-year tenure.

During its eight seasons in the Metro Conference (now Conference USA after the 1995 reunification), the Lady Gamecocks won the regular season championship five times and the conference tournament three times. [2]

When South Carolina joined the SEC, success was hard to come by during their first decade in one of the strongest conferences in women's basketball. They initially struggled to compete under head coaches Nancy Wilson and Susan Walvius. Walvius' teams in 2001–02 and 2002–03 broke through to finish 25–7 and 23–8, respectively, earning trips to the NCAA tournament and reaching the Elite Eight in 2002.

Walvius resigned after the 2007–08 season. On May 7, 2008, Dawn Staley was named the new head coach of the team now known as simply the "Gamecocks".

Under coach Staley, the Gamecocks improved or equaled their win total every season during her first seven years leading the program, culminating in a 34–3 record in 2014–15. That year they won the SEC regular season championship, the SEC Tournament championship and the NCAA East Region Championship. The season ended in the NCAA Final Four with a last second one-point loss to Notre Dame in the national semifinals.

The following year, the Gamecocks went undefeated in conference play, only to be stymied in the Sweet 16 by Syracuse. In 2016–17, the Gamecocks garnered their third straight sweep of the SEC regular season and tournament titles en route to their second Final Four. They defeated conference rival Mississippi State in the national championship game to win their first-ever national title.

In the 2018 SEC tournament, the Gamecocks defeated Mississippi State to win the SEC tournament, South Carolina is the only team to win the SEC tournament for four straight years. Their season came to an end when they were defeated by Connecticut in the Elite Eight.

In 2020, South Carolina finished 32–1 (16–0), led by the #1 ranked recruiting class and senior leadership of point guard Tyasha Harris. The Gamecocks defeated 14 ranked teams including their first-ever victory over UConn, and won both the SEC regular season and tournament titles. South Carolina won their final 26 games of the season and spent the final nine weeks as the AP #1 ranked team. Dawn Staley was named national coach of the year, and Aliyah Boston was named national freshman of the year, and SEC defensive player of the year. When the COVID-19 pandemic ended the season prematurely on March 12, South Carolina was ranked at the top of the AP and coaches' polls. Due to the unprecedented abrupt ending to the season following the SEC Championship win, Staley said they should be claimed Champions, but never took any real steps to claim one. To honor the seniors the program raised a banner highlighting finishing #1 in the polls on December 31, 2020, at the 2020–21 season opener. [3] In 2021, the team reached the Final Four losing to Stanford by a point.

On April 3, 2022, the Gamecocks won their 2nd national title with a 64–49 win over UConn, finishing the season 35–2 and being ranked #1 in both major polls for the entire season. Aliyah Boston won Player of the Year, and Dawn Staley was named Naismith Award winner as the best coach in the nation for 2022. [4]

Current roster

2022–23 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team
PlayersCoaches
Pos.#NameHeightYearPrevious schoolHometown
G 0Olivia Thompson5 ft 8 in(1.73 m)Sr Lexington   Flag of South Carolina.svg Lexington, SC   Flag of the United States.svg
G 1 Zia Cooke 5 ft 9 in(1.75 m)Sr Rogers   Flag of Ohio.svg Toledo, OH   Flag of the United States.svg
F 3 Ashlyn Watkins 6 ft 3 in(1.91 m)Fr Cardinal Newman   Flag of South Carolina.svg Columbia, SC   Flag of the United States.svg
F 4 Aliyah Boston 6 ft 5 in(1.96 m)Sr Worcester Academy   Flag of Massachusetts.svg Saint Thomas, VI   Flag of the United States Virgin Islands.svg
F 5Victaria Saxton6 ft 2 in(1.88 m)Sr Model   Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg Rome, GA   Flag of the United States.svg
C 10Kamilla Cardoso6 ft 7 in(2.01 m)JrHamilton Heights   Flag of Tennessee.svg
Syracuse Syracuse Orange logo.svg
Montes Claros, BR   Flag of Brazil.svg
G 11Talaysia Cooper6 ft 0 in(1.83 m)Fr East Clarendon   Flag of South Carolina.svg Turbeville, SC   Flag of the United States.svg
G 12Brea Beal6 ft 1 in(1.85 m)Sr Rock Island   Flag of Illinois.svg Rock Island, IL   Flag of the United States.svg
F 15Laeticia Amihere6 ft 4 in(1.93 m)RS SrKings Way Christian   Flag of Ontario.svg Milton, ON Flag of Canada.svg
G 20Sania Feagin6 ft 3 in(1.91 m)So Forest Park   Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg Ellenwood, GA   Flag of the United States.svg
G 23Aubryanna Hall6 ft 0 in(1.83 m)So Wayne   Flag of Ohio.svg Dayton, OH   Flag of the United States.svg
G 25Raven Johnson5 ft 8 in(1.73 m)So Westlake   Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg Atlanta, GA   Flag of the United States.svg
G 41Kierra Fletcher5 ft 9 in(1.75 m)Sr Cousino   Flag of Michigan.svg
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets logo.svg
Warren, MI   Flag of the United States.svg
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

Roster
Last update: November 18th, 2021

Head coaches

NameYearsSeasonsGamesWonLostPct.
Pam Backhaus1974–1975
1976–1977
2562630.464
Frankie Porter1975–1976122715.318
Pam Parsons1977–1981514410143.701
Terry Kelly1982–19843825032.610
Nancy Wilson 1985–199713380231149.608
Susan Walvius 1998–200811325165160.508
Dawn Staley 2008–present14476371105.777
All-Time491485951534.639

Year-by-year results

Conference tournament winners noted with # Source [5]

SeasonTeamOverallConferenceStandingPostseasonCoaches' pollAP poll
Pam Backhaus (Independent)(1974–1975)
1974–75Pam Backhaus 18–12AIAW Region II
Frankie Porter (Independent)(1975–1976)
1975–76Frankie Porter 7–15
Frankie Porter:7–15 (.318)
Pam Backhaus (Independent)(1976–1977)
1976–77Pam Backhaus 8–18SCAIAW
Pam Backhaus:26–30 (.464)
Pam Parsons (Independent)(1977–1982)
1977–78Pam Parsons 24–10AIAW Region II
1978–79Pam Parsons 27–10AIAW Region II, NWIT Champions15
1979–80Pam Parsons 30–6 AIAW Third Place 4
1980–81Pam Parsons 13-17AIAW Region II
1981Pam Parsons 7–0
Pam Parsons:101–43 (.701)
Terry Kelly (Independent, Metro)(1982–1985)
1982Terry Kelly 16–8 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1982–83Terry Kelly 16–12
1983–84Terry Kelly 18–127–3
Terry Kelly:50–32 (.610)7–3 (.700)
Nancy Wilson (Metro, SEC)(1984–1997)
1984–85Nancy Wilson 18–108–3
1985–86Nancy Wilson 19–119–11st NCAA first round
1986–87Nancy Wilson 18–128–4
1987–88Nancy Wilson 23–1110–21st NCAA second round 24
1988–89Nancy Wilson 23–710–21st NCAA first round 2217
1989–90Nancy Wilson 24–913–1 NCAA Sweet Sixteen 1619
1990–91Nancy Wilson 22–912–2 NCAA first round
1991–92Nancy Wilson 13–152–912th (SEC)
1992–93Nancy Wilson 17–105–6T-6th
1993–94Nancy Wilson 14–132–9T-10th
1994–95Nancy Wilson 12–151–10T-10th
1995–96Nancy Wilson 16–122–9T-11th
1996–97Nancy Wilson 12–151–11T-11th
Nancy Wilson:231–149 (.608)83–69 (.546)
Susan Walvius (SEC)(1997–2008)
1997–98Susan Walvius 13–153–11T-11th
1998–99Susan Walvius 11–160–1412th
1999–2000Susan Walvius 13–153–1111th
2000–01Susan Walvius 11–176–8T-6th
2001–02Susan Walvius 25–710–4T-2nd NCAA Elite Eight 613
2002–03Susan Walvius 23–89–5T-5th NCAA second round 1816
2003–04Susan Walvius 10–181–1312th
2004–05Susan Walvius 8–212–1212th
2005–06Susan Walvius 17–127–77thWNIT Second round
2006–07Susan Walvius 18–156–8T-7th WNIT third round
2007–08Susan Walvius 16–164–10T-9th WNIT second round
Susan Walvius:165–160 (.508)51–103 (.331)
Dawn Staley (SEC)(2008–present)
2008–09Dawn Staley 10–182–1211th
2009–10Dawn Staley 14–157–9T-7th
2010–11Dawn Staley 18–158–8T-5th WNIT second round
2011–12Dawn Staley 25–1010–6T-4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen 2125
2012–13Dawn Staley 25–811–5T-4th NCAA second round 1417
2013–14 Dawn Staley 29–514–21st NCAA Sweet Sixteen 89
2014–15 Dawn Staley 34–315–11st NCAA Final Four 34
2015–16 Dawn Staley 33–216–01st NCAA Sweet Sixteen 35
2016–17 Dawn Staley 33–414–21st NCAA Champions 11
2017–18 Dawn Staley 29–712–4T-2nd NCAA Elite Eight 67
2018–19 Dawn Staley 23–1013–32nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen 1315
2019–20 Dawn Staley 32–116–01stCanceled due to COVID-1911
2020–21 Dawn Staley 26–514–22nd NCAA Final Four 56
2021–22 Dawn Staley 35–215–11st NCAA Champions 11
2022–23 Dawn Staley 7–011
Dawn Staley:373–105 (.780)168–55 (.753)
Total:952–534 (.641)

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Postseason results

NCAA Division I

YearSeedRoundOpponentResult
1982 #3First round
Sweet Sixteen
#6 East Carolina
#2 Kentucky
W 79–54
L 69–73
1986 #7First round#10 Middle TennL 77–78
1988 #8First round
Second round
#9 Alabama
#1 Texas
W 77–63
L 58–77
1989 #6First round#11 Tennessee TechL 73–77
1990 #5First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
#12 Bowling Green
#4 Northwestern
#1 Washington
W 93–50
W 76–67
L 61–73
1991 #7First round#10 VanderbiltL 64–73
2002 #3First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#14 Liberty
#6 Cincinnati
#7 Drake
#1 Duke
W 69–61
W 75–56
W 79–65
L 68–77
2003 #5First round
Second round
#12 UT Chattanooga
#4 Penn State
W 68–54
L 67–77
2012 #5First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
#12 Eastern Michigan
#4 Purdue
#1 Stanford
W 80–48
W 72–61
L 60–76
2013 #4First round
Second round
#13 South Dakota State
#12 Kansas
W 74–53
L 69–75
2014 #1First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
#16 Cal St Northridge
#9 Oregon State
#4 North Carolina
W 73–58
W 78–69
L 58–65
2015 #1First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#16 Savannah State
#8 Syracuse
#4 North Carolina
#2 Florida State
#1 Notre Dame
W 81-48
W 97–68
W 67–65
W 80–74
L 65–66
2016 #1First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
#16 Jacksonville
#9 Kansas State
#4 Syracuse
W 77–41
W 73–47
L 72–80
2017 #1First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship
#16 UNC Asheville
#8 Arizona State
#12 Quinnipiac
#3 Florida State
#2 Stanford
#2 Mississippi State
W 90–40
W 71–68
W 100–58
W 71–64
W 62–53
W 67–55
2018 #2First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#15 North Carolina A&T
#10 Virginia
#11 Buffalo
#1 Connecticut
W 63–52
W 66–56
W 79–63
L 65–94
2019 #4First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
#13 Belmont
#5 Florida State
#1 Baylor
W 74-52
W 72–64
L 68–93
2021 #1First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#16 Mercer
#8 Oregon State
#5 Georgia Tech
#6 Texas
#1 Stanford
W 79–53
W 59–42
W 76–65
W 62–34
L 65–66
2022 #1First round
Second round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship
#16 Howard
#8 Miami
#5 North Carolina
#10 Creighton
#1 Louisville
#2 Connecticut
W 79–21
W 49–33
W 69–61
W 80–50
W 72–59
W 64–49

AIAW Division I

The Gamecocks made two appearances in the AIAW National Division I basketball tournament, with a combined record of 6–3.

YearRoundOpponentResult
1973 First round
Consolation First round
Consolation Second round
Consolation third round
East Stroudsburg State
Lehman
UC Riverside
Kansas State
L, 59–66
W, 58–53
W, 49–36
L, 57–69
1980 First round
Second round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Third-place game
USC
Northwestern
Stephen F. Austin
Tennessee
Louisiana Tech
W, 81–60
W, 64–61
W, 63–56
L, 72–75
W, 77–69

Attendance

Over the years, the Gamecocks have played in three different venues. At first games were played at the Blatt P.E. Center. Later games moved to the Carolina Coliseum, which saw the first sell out for a women's basketball game on January 17, 2002. That day, 12,168 fans turned out to see the South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Tennessee Lady Vols.

On November 22, 2002, the Gamecocks opened the newly constructed Colonial Life Arena (then known as Carolina Center; the arena's deal with Unum was signed a year later) would be with $1 admission night, leading to a crowd 17,712 saw the Gamecocks defeat the archrival Clemson Lady Tigers. [6] The first sell out with 18,000 in attendance occurred on February 8, 2016 against the University of Connecticut Huskies in a match up of the two top ranked teams in the country.

Crowds of over 16,000 at Colonial Life Arena for Women's Basketball games:

DateAttendanceOpponentResult
02-20-202218,000TennesseeW 67-53
03-01-202018,000Texas A&MW 60–52
02-10-202018,000ConnecticutW 70–52
03-03-201918,000Mississippi StateL 68–64
02-01-201818,000ConnecticutL 58–83
02-26-201718,000KentuckyW 95–87
02-08-201618,000ConnecticutL 66–54
11-22-200217,712ClemsonW 72–58
01-11-201517,156KentuckyW 68–60
11-13-201516,815Ohio StateW 88–80
01-02-201516,465AuburnW 77–58
12-06-201516,429DukeW 66–55
02-28-201616,240LSUW 75–39
02-18-201616,186GeorgiaW 61–51

South Carolina has led the nation in attendance every season since 2014–15, with the exception of 2020 which was limited due to COVID. The Gamecocks have averaged over 10,000 fans in 92 consecutive regular season home games.

YearGamesOverall W–LOverall Win PctNCAA W–LNCAA Win PctTotal Attendance (SEC/Nat Rank)Avg Attendance (SEC/Nat Rank)
2014–15 1616–01.0002–01.000196,684 (1st/1st)12,293 (1st/1st)
2015–16 1716–10.9412–01.000244,196 (1st/1st)14,364 (1st/1st)
2016–17 1615–10.9382–01.000196,431 (1st/1st)12,277 (1st/1st)
2017–18 1715–20.8822–01.000225,064 (1st/1st)13,239 (1st/1st)
2018–19 17*13–40.7652–01.000176,904 (1st/2nd)10,406 (1st/1st)
2019–20 1515–01.0000–0183,272 (1st/1st)12,218 (1st/1st)
2020–21 1110–10.9090–0Covid AttendanceCovid Average
2021–22 1616–01.0002–01.000196,286 (1st/1st)12,268 (1st/1st)
Totals125116–90.92212–01.0001,418,83712,437

* The 2019 NCAA Tournament games were played in Halton Arena, Charlotte, NC

Notes

Notable players

Gamecocks in the WNBA

PlayerDraftSeasonsNotes
Shannon Johnson 1999Orlando 11(1999–2009) Last with the Seattle Storm
Shaunzinski Gortman 2002 – 9th by Charlotte 5(2002–2006) Last with the Seattle Storm
Jocelyn Penn 2003 – 9th by Charlotte 2(2003–2004) Last with the San Antonio Stars
Tiffany Mitchell 2016 – 9th by Indiana 6(2016–Present) Indiana Fever
Alaina Coates 2017 – 2nd by Chicago 4(2017–Present) Indiana Fever
Allisha Gray 2017 – 4th by Dallas 5(2017–Present) Dallas Wings, 2017 WNBA Rookie of the Year
Kaela Davis 2017 – 10th by Dallas 5(2017–Present) Atlanta Dream
A'ja Wilson 2018 – 1st by Las Vegas 4(2018–Present) Las Vegas Aces, 2020 WNBA Most Valuable Player
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan 2020 – 6th by Minnesota 2(2020–Present) Seattle Storm
Tyasha Harris 2020 – 7th by Dallas 2(2020–Present) Dallas Wings
Destanni Henderson 2022 – 20th by Indiana 1(2022-Present) Indiana Fever

Also drafted:

Retired jerseys

South Carolina has retired two jersey numbers. [7]

No.PlayerCareer
13Martha Parker1985–1989
53Sheila Foster1978–1982

Player and coach awards

National player awards

National coach awards

Dawn Staley – 2020, 2022
Dawn Staley – 2020, 2022
Dawn Staley – 2020
Dawn Staley – 2020, 2022

Conference awards

* Denotes Co-Player / Co-Coach

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The 2020–21 Texas A&M Aggies women's basketball team represents Texas A&M University in the 2020–21 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The team's head coach is Gary Blair, in his eighteenth season at Texas A&M. The team plays their home games at the Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, and in its ninth season as a member of the Southeastern Conference.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2021–22 UConn Huskies women's basketball team</span> Intercollegiate basketball season

The 2021–22 UConn Huskies women's basketball team represented the University of Connecticut (UConn) during the 2021–22 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Huskies, led by Hall of Fame head coach Geno Auriemma in his 37th season at UConn, split their home games between Harry A. Gampel Pavilion and the XL Center and were members of the Big East Conference, which they joined for women's basketball the previous season. UConn was a member of the original Big East Conference from 1979 through 2013, and one of the original women's basketball teams in that conference in 1982.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2021–22 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team</span> Intercollegiate basketball season

The 2021–22 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team represented the University of South Carolina during the 2021–22 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Gamecocks were led by 14th-year head coach Dawn Staley and played their home games at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC. They competed as members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They finished the season 35–2, 15–1 in SEC play to win the regular season championship. They defeated Arkansas and Ole Miss to advance to the championship of the SEC Tournament where they lost to Kentucky. They received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed in the Greensboro region. They defeated Howard, Miami, North Carolina, Creighton and Louisville to advance to the championship game. There they defeated UConn for the team's second-ever national title.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Destanni Henderson</span> American basketball player (born 1999)

Destanni Mone Henderson is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Henderson played college basketball for the South Carolina Gamecocks, helping her team win the national championship and earning first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors as a senior. At Fort Myers Senior High School, she won three straight state titles, was a McDonald's All-American selection and was rated as the number one point guard in her class by ESPN. Henderson competes for the United States national team and won a gold medal at the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup.

The 2022 NCAA Division I women's basketball championship game was the final game of the 2022 NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament. It determined the national champion for the 2021–22 season, and was contested by the UConn Huskies and the South Carolina Gamecocks. The game was played on April 3, 2022, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the game, the Gamecocks jumped out to an 18-point lead early in the second quarter and held off UConn scoring runs to win the national championship, 64–49. South Carolina's Aliyah Boston was voted the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player (MOP). This was UConn's first loss in the women's national championship game.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2022–23 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team</span> Intercollegiate basketball season

The 2022–23 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team represents the University of South Carolina during the 2022–23 NCAA Division I women's basketball season. The Gamecocks, led by fifteenth-year head coach Dawn Staley, play their home games at Colonial Life Arena and compete as members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

References

  1. "Colors – Communications and Public Affairs | University of South Carolina" . Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  2. "South Carolina Women's Basketball History".
  3. Feinberg, Doug (2020-03-17). "South Carolina finishes No. 1 in AP women's basketball poll". AP Wire. The AP. Associated Press. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  4. "South Carolina pounds UConn, 64-49, to take women's basketball championship". NBC News. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  5. "History" (PDF). University of South Carolina. Retrieved 10 Aug 2013.
  6. "South Carolina hosts Clemson Friday night in the Carolina Center's Grand Opening". Gamecocks Online. Cnet/CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  7. "SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETICS HISTORY". Gamecock.