After defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 98-36 on Monday, South Carolina (16-0) remains seemingly unstoppable. On top of snatching their 50th straight home win at Colonial Life Arena, the Gamecocks continue their reign as the only undefeated squad in the nation.
The impeccable stats these ladies put up every night speak for themselves. They currently lead the league in made field goals (34.9), made three-pointers (7.1), and blocks per game (9.1). Their battle against Kentucky was also the eighth time this season where the Gamecocks held their opponents to single-digit points in a quarter. They are incredibly efficient on both sides of the ball.
Despite these superior factors, what truly separates South Carolina from the rest is their depth. The skill possessed by this group stretches beyond their starting five and reaches to Ashlyn Watkins, MiLaysia Fulwiley, and more who come off the bench. Against Kentucky, their bench players scored 45 points total. Head Coach Dawn Staley attributes the team's achievements thus far to their undeniable connection with one another.
“They have great chemistry," Staley said. "They work hard in practice. They have a really good understanding of what has to happen out there on the floor and how disciplined they need to be in order for us to share in these successes."
While teamwork is the priority, some are simultaneously etching their name in Gamecock history books. Watkins, a sophomore forward, sent South Carolina fans, affectionately known as “FAMS,” into a frenzy after dunking during the Kentucky matchup’s first quarter. She is the only player in Gamecock women’s history to dunk during game regulation. This is the second of her collegiate career, but her first of the season. Therefore, it was certainly the highlight of the night.
South Carolina looks to continue their ascend as the season’s 12th week approaches. With each of their players fitting together like perfect puzzle pieces, their winning streak is likely to continue.