South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball
|South Carolina Gamecocks|
|University||University of South Carolina|
|Head coach||Dawn Staley (6th year)|
|Arena||Colonial Life Arena
Garnet and Black
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament Final Four|
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament Elite Eight|
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1980, 1990, 2002, 2012, 2014|
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament appearances|
|1980, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|Conference tournament champions|
|Metro Conference: 1986, 1988, 1989|
|Conference regular season champions|
|Metro Conference: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
The program enjoyed its great 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.
Under current Head Coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks have improved their success every year, culminating in winning the SEC Championship in 2014 and gaining a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Following the 2014 season, Staley signed the #2 ranked recruiting class in the country, highlighted by the overall #1 recruit A'ja Wilson.
The first Gamecocks women's basketball team to compete at an intercollegiate level dates back to 1923 when they were called the Pullets.
The first varsity team, known as 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 with her at the helm.
The program enjoyed its greatest run of success to date after joining the Metro Conference in 1983. During its eight seasons in the league, the Lady Gamecocks won the regular season championship five times and the conference tournament three times.
When South Carolina joined the SEC, success was hard to come by during the first decade. The program struggled to compete in the premier Women's Basketball League under head coaches 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 and Dawn Staley was named the new head coach of the Lady Gamecocks on May 7.
Under Coach Staley, the Gamecocks improved every year, starting 10-18 in 2008-09 and claiming the SEC Championship with a 29-5 record in 2013-14.
|2013–14 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team|
Year by year results
Conference tournament winners noted with # Source
|Season||Team||Overall||Conference||Standing||Postseason||Coaches' poll||AP poll|
|Pam Backhaus (Independent) (1974–1975)|
|1974-75||Pam Backhaus||18–12||–||AIAW Region II|
|Frankie Porter (Independent) (1975–1976)|
|Pam Backhaus (Independent) (1976–1977)|
|Pam Parsons (Independent) (1977–1982)|
|1977-78||Pam Parsons||24–10||–||AIAW Region II|
|1978-79||Pam Parsons||27–10||–||AIAW Region II, NWIT Champions||15|
|1979-80||Pam Parsons||30–6||–||AIAW Third Place||4|
|1980-81||Pam Parsons||21–11||–||AIAW Region II|
|Terry Kelly (Independent, Metro) (1982–1985)|
|1982||Terry Kelly||16–8||–||NCAA Sixteen|
|Nancy Wilson (Metro, SEC) (1984–1997)|
|1985-86||Nancy Wilson||19–11||9–1||#||NCAA First Round|
|1987-88||Nancy Wilson||23–11||10–2||#||NCAA Second Round (Play-In)||24|
|1988-89||Nancy Wilson||23–7||10–2||#||NCAA First Round||22||17|
|1989-90||Nancy Wilson||24–9||13–1||NCAA Sixteen||16||19|
|1990-91||Nancy Wilson||22–9||12–2||NCAA First Round|
|1991-92||Nancy Wilson||13–15||2–9||12th (SEC)|
|Susan Walvius (SEC) (1997–2008)|
|2001-02||Susan Walvius||25–7||10–4||T-2nd||NCAA Quarterfinals||6||13|
|2002-03||Susan Walvius||23–8||9–5||T-5th||NCAA Second Round||18||16|
|2005-06||Susan Walvius||17–12||7–7||7th||WNIT First Round (Bye)|
|2006-07||Susan Walvius||18–15||6–8||T-7th||WNIT Sixteen|
|2007-08||Susan Walvius||16–16||4–10||T-9th||WNIT First Round (Play-In)|
|Dawn Staley (SEC) (2008–present)|
|2010-11||Dawn Staley||18–15||8–8||T-5th||WNIT Second Round|
|2011-12||Dawn Staley||25–10||10–6||T-4th||NCAA Sixteen||21||25|
|2012-13||Dawn Staley||25–8||11–5||T-4th||NCAA Second Round||14||17|
|2013-14||Dawn Staley||29–5||14–2||1st||NCAA Sixteen||8||9|
Gamecocks in the WNBA
- Shannon Johnson - 1999 - 2009 - Last with the Seattle Storm
- Shaunzinski Gortman - 2002 - 2006 - Last with the Seattle Storm
- Petra Ujhelyi - 2003 - With the Detroit Schock
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 17th 2002. That day, 12,168 fans turned out to see the South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Tennessee Lady Vols.
On November 22nd 2002, the Lady Gamecocks opened the newly constructed Colonial Center (later renamed the Colonial Life Arena). A near sell out crowd of 17,712 saw the Lady Gamecocks defeat the Clemson Lady Tigers.
Top crowds at Colonial Life Arena for Women's Basketball games:
2012 Paradise Jam
South Carolina traveled to St. Thomas for the Paradise Jam Tournament over the extended Thanksgiving weekend.
South Carolina won their first game against Hampton 45–34, and their second against Florida Gulf Coast 65–46, setting up the deciding game between the Gamecocks and DePaul, who also went 2–0 in the first two rounds. DePaul's Anna Martin was unable to play due to a knee injury. Although the Blue Demons held a slim 28–25 lead early in the second half, South Carolina responded with a 19–4 run to put the game out of reach. South Carolina went on to win the game 55–46, and the Reef Division championship. South Carolina's Aleighsa Welch was named the Reef Division Tournament MVP
- "South Carolina Women's Basketball History".
- "History". University of South Carolina. Retrieved 10 Aug 2013.
- "Carolina History".
- "DePaul Takes Second Place at Paradise Jam". DePaul Blue Demons. Nov 24, 2012. Retrieved 31 Jan 2013.
- "Tournament History & Statistics". Basketball Travelers, Inc. Retrieved 23 Dec 2012.
- "2012 Women’s Tournament Scores and Brackets". Basketball Travelers, Inc. Retrieved 23 Dec 2012.