No. 7/6 Ohio State vs. No. 4/3 South Carolina
Date: November 14, 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Arena: Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Watch: BTN2Go Listen: 1460 AM
Last year, in a good back and forth game on opening night, the No. 6 Buckeyes fell 88-80 to No. 2 South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena. The game was tied 78-78 with 2:20 to play and that’s when the Gamecock defense stepped up. Tonight will be another early season match-up between two top ten teams and should be a good one.
The Buckeyes have already started their season with a win against Duquesne but the Gamecocks are getting things rolling on the road in what is usually a hostile environment and one of the best attended women’s programs in the country. 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.
The Buckeyes are led by amazing junior and All-American Kelsey Mitchell. Mitchell will be joined by the rest of tonight’s expected starters Stephanie Mavunga, Sierra Calhoun, Asia Doss and Shyla Cooper. Against Duquesne, Ohio State utilized their entire bench, which includes the three incoming frosh, with everyone scoring except Theresa Ekhelar.
South Carolina is led by returning All-American A’ja Wilson and will be replacing three starters from their sweet sixteen team from a year ago. The Gamecocks head coach is Dawn Staley in her ninth season and the cupboard is hardly bare having brought in one of the better freshmen classes in the nation. Alaina Coates returns and is one of four Gamecocks who have scored over one-thousand points for their career. Junior transfers Kaela Davis (Georgia Tech) and Allisha Gray (North Carolina) also have over a thousand points in their careers.
Freshman Tyasha Harris is expected to contribute immediately.