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South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball

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Title: South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year, South Carolina Gamecocks, 1982 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament, Clemson–South Carolina rivalry, South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball

South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina Gamecocks athletic logo
University University of South Carolina
Conference SEC
Location Columbia, SC
Head coach Dawn Staley (6th year)
Arena Colonial Life Arena
(Capacity: 18,000)
Nickname Gamecocks

Garnet and Black

Home jersey
Team colours
Away jersey
Team colours
Alternate jersey
Team colours
NCAA/AIAW Tournament Final Four
NCAA/AIAW Tournament Elite Eight
1980, 2002
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
SEC: 2014

The South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team represents the University of South Carolina and competes in the Southeastern Conference.

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.[1]

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.

Head coaches

Name Years Seasons Games Won Lost Pct.
Pam Backhaus 1974–1975
3 78 41 37 .526
Frankie Porter 1975–1976 1 22 7 15 .318
Pam Parsons 1977–1981 5 144 101 43 .701
Terry Kelly 1982–1984 3 82 50 32 .610
Nancy Wilson 1984–1997 13 380 231 149 .608
Susan Walvius 1997–2008 11 325 165 160 .508
Dawn Staley 2008–Present 6 192 121 71 .630
All-Time 41 1223 716 507 .585

2013–14 Roster

Year by year results

Conference tournament winners noted with # Source[2]
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)
1975-76 Frankie Porter 7–15
Frankie Porter: 7–15
Pam Backhaus (Independent) (1976–1977)
1976-77 Pam Backhaus 8–18 SCAIAW
Pam Backhaus: 26–30
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
1981 Pam Parsons 7–0
Pam Parsons: 109–37
Terry Kelly (Independent, Metro) (1982–1985)
1982 Terry Kelly 16–8 NCAA Sixteen
1982-83 Terry Kelly 16–12
1983-84 Terry Kelly 18–12 7–3
Terry Kelly: 50–32 7–3
Nancy Wilson (Metro, SEC) (1984–1997)
1984-85 Nancy Wilson 18–10 8–3
1985-86 Nancy Wilson 19–11 9–1 # NCAA First Round
1986-87 Nancy Wilson 18–12 8–4
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)
1992-93 Nancy Wilson 17–10 5–6 T-6th
1993-94 Nancy Wilson 14–13 2–9 T-10th
1994-95 Nancy Wilson 12–15 1–10 T-10th
1995-96 Nancy Wilson 16–12 2–9 T-11th
1996-97 Nancy Wilson 12–15 1–11 T-11th
Nancy Wilson: 231–149 83–69
Susan Walvius (SEC) (1997–2008)
1997-98 Susan Walvius 13–15 3–11 T-11th
1998-99 Susan Walvius 11–16 0–14 12th
1999-2000 Susan Walvius 13–15 3–11 11th
2000-01 Susan Walvius 11–17 6–8 T-6th
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
2003-04 Susan Walvius 10–18 1–13 12th
2004-05 Susan Walvius 8–21 2–12 12th
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)
Susan Walvius: 165–160 51–103
Dawn Staley (SEC) (2008–present)
2008-09 Dawn Staley 10–18 2–12 11th
2009-10 Dawn Staley 14–15 7–9 T-7th
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
2014-15 Dawn Staley
Dawn Staley: 121–71 52–42
Total: 727–506

      National 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

Notable players

Gamecocks in the WNBA

Retired jerseys


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:

Date Attendance Opponent Result
11-22-2002 17,712 Clemson W 72–58
02-27-2014 12,458 Georgia W 67-56
02-23-2014 10,547 Florida W 69–55

2012 Paradise Jam

South Carolina's Ieasia Walker drives to the basket against DePaul's Brittany Hrynko, while Blue Demon coach Doug Bruno watches at the 2012 Paradise Jam Tournament

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.[4] 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[5][6]


  1. ^ "South Carolina Women's Basketball History". 
  2. ^ "History". University of South Carolina. Retrieved 10 Aug 2013. 
  3. ^ "Carolina History". 
  4. ^ "DePaul Takes Second Place at Paradise Jam". DePaul Blue Demons. Nov 24, 2012. Retrieved 31 Jan 2013. 
  5. ^ "Tournament History & Statistics". Basketball Travelers, Inc. Retrieved 23 Dec 2012. 
  6. ^ "2012 Women’s Tournament Scores and Brackets". Basketball Travelers, Inc. Retrieved 23 Dec 2012. 

External links

  • Official site
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