The No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks, continue conference play with a road game against the No. 13 LSU Tigers on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Both teams have been extremely successful this year, as the Gamecocks have won 13 of their first 14 and six over top-15 teams, while the Tigers have won 13 games in a row after getting off to a 1-1 start.
Both teams are strong on both sides of the court. South Carolina is averaging 72.4 points per game and allowing 53.6. On the other hand, LSU is averaging 76.7 and allowing 55.3.
South Carolina will rely on its abundance of talent, led by forward Aliyah Boston (16.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game) as well as guards Zia Cooke (11.8 points) and Destanni Henderson (11.5 points, 4.1 assists, and 1.6 steals). The Gamecocks will also be looking for solid outings from the rest of their rotation, including key contributors Laeticia Amihere, Victaria Saxton, Kamilla Cardoso and Brea Beal. Hopefully all those players will be able to play. Head coach Dawn Staley declined to reveal who her team will be missing for Thursday’s game, but indicated that they’ve “got a few people out.”
Amihere was in COVID-19 protocol when she missed South Carolina’s most recent game against Mississippi State.
LSU has a veteran squad and will be dependent on its two veteran guards, graduate student Khayla Pointer (17.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals) and fifth-year senior Alexis Morris (14.5 points, 2.9 assists and two steals). Other key graduate student players include center Faustine Aifuwa, guard Jailin Cherry and forward Autumn Newby.
No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks (13-1, 1-1 SEC) vs. No. 13 LSU Tigers (14-1, 2-0 SEC)
When: Thursday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Baton Rouge, LA
How to watch: SEC Network+
Key to the matchup: Destanni Henderson vs. Khayla Pointer. As the point guards go, this game will go, as both women charged with shepherding offense will have a lot on their plate. They will both have a tough defensive challenge against the other, as Henderson and Pointer are both very capable of scoring at will as well as being unselfish and setting up their teammates. Both will need to initiate plenty of offense, whether it be through scoring or passing.