Nov. 13, 2016
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Setting the Scene
- The stage is set for a top-10 battle on Monday as No. 7/6 Ohio State hosts No. 4/3 South Carolina.
- Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. from Value City Arena.
- The Buckeyes opened the year with a solid 89-69 victory over Duquesne inside of historic St. John Arena. Four Buckeyes scored in double-figures led by All-American Kelsey Mitchell with 18 points. Stephanie Mavunga made her Ohio State debut with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for her 28th career double-double.
- South Carolina is opening its season on Monday. The Gamecocks are coming off a 33-2 season and are picked to win the SEC again this year. National Player of the Year candidate A’ja Wilson has been named the SEC Preseason Player of the Year and joins 6-4 center Alaina Coats to make one of the top front courts in the country.
- The game is being streamed online on BTN2Go.
- The game can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Noting The Buckeyes
- Ohio State opened the year with a victory over Duquesne last Friday afternoon.
- Stephanie Mavunga made her Ohio State debut against Duquesne with 15 points and 14 rebounds for her 28th career double-double.
- The Buckeyes led the Big Ten and were third in the country last season in scoring at 86.0 ppg and opened the year with an 89-point effort.
- OSU returns three starters and eight letterwinners from a team that made the programs’ first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance since 2011.
- Junior Kelsey Mitchell is ninth in school history with 1,780 career points. The Big Ten preseason Player of the Year is just 15 three-point field goals away from tying the OSU career record.
- Kevin McGuff enters his fourth season with the Buckeyes and his 15th overall as a head coach. He has a career record of 323-136 (.703) and 68-37 (.648) with the Buckeyes. McGuff led Ohio State back to the NCAA Sweet 16 last season, marking the second NCAA Sweet 16 appearance of his career.
- Before the end of the season, Ohio State has the potential to have four 1,000-point scorers on its roster. In addition to Mitchell, Mavunga is just 85 points away from the mark while Alexa Hart and Shayla Cooper are also within range.
- The Buckeyes played all but two games last season as a top-10 team and have opened this season ranked No. 7 in the AP poll and No. 6 in the Coaches Poll. Ohio State is 238-48 (.832) all-time as a top-10 ranked team.
- All three of the Buckeyes’ true freshman — Tori McCoy, Kiara Lewis and Jensen Caretti — played and scored their first collegiate points in the season-opening win against Duquesne.
Noting South Carolina
- South Carolina lost just two games last year and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.
- The Gamecocks went undefeated en route to the SEC regular season and tournament titles last year and are picked to repeat again this year.
- USC is led by national Player of the Year candidate A’ja Wilson who averaged 16.1 points and 8.7 rebounds last year.
- 6-4 center Alaina Coats also returns to make one of the best front lines in college basketball.
- South Carolina also features a pair of transfer guards in Allisha Gray (UNC) and Kaela Davis (GT). Gray led North Carolina in scoring in 2014-15 while Davis led the entire ACC in scoring in 2014-15.
- Gamecock coach Dawn Staley has won nearly 70 percent of her games at USC as she owns a career 360-156 record.
Series History vs. South Carolina
- Monday’s game will be the fifth meeting between the two schools.
- The series is tied 2-2 with each team winning twice on its home court.
- The teams had not played each other in over 34 years prior to the meeting in Columbia in last year’s season opener.
McGuff vs. South Carolina
- Head coach Kevin McGuff is 2-1 lifetime against the Gamecocks.
- He led Xavier to an 84-65 romp in the 2010-11 season opener in Columbia and then lost last year’s season-opener at the helm of the Buckeyes.
- McGuff also guided the Musketeers to a 70-65 overtime victory over South Carolina in the first round of the 2006 WNIT in Cincinnati.
Last Year vs. South Carolina
- In a good back and forth game on opening night, the No. 6 Buckeyes fell 88-80 at No. 2 South Carolina on Nov. 13, 2015 at Colonial Life Arena.
- The game was tied 78-78 with 2:20 to play and that’s when the USC defense stepped up. Coates had a pair of blocks which helped spring an 8-0 run that swung the momentum in the favor of the Gamecocks.
- USC’s Aja Wilson scored 12 of her team-high 20 points over the final 5:30 to help the hosts pull away down the stretch.
- All-American Kelsey Mitchell scored a game-high 36 points for the Buckeyes.
- Shayla Cooper struggled from the floor but grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.
- Senior Ameryst Alston scored 23 points on 4-of-5 from long range.
- The Buckeyes were whistled for 29 fouls and battled foul trouble the entire game.