South Carolina Women's Basketball
Mar 3, 2024; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley directs her team against the Tennessee Lady Vols in the second half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina Women’s Basketball Posts Back-to-Back Undefeated Regular Seasons

For the second straight season, the South Carolina women’s basketball team has gone undefeated in the regular season.

2023-24 Season

The Gamecocks entered this season following a dominant yet disappointing 2022-23 campaign.

Last year, South Carolina steam rolled their opponents by an average margin of victory of 28.5 points. Led by the 2022 Naismith/Wooden National Player of the Year, Aliyah Boston, South Carolina was seemingly en route to their second straight title. Instead, they met Iowa in the Final Four where Caitlin Clark scored 41 to upset the favorited Gamecocks.

Despite Boston being drafted No. 1 overall in the 2023 WNBA draft, South Carolina has continued to excel in 2023-24. The Gamecocks have the best point differential in women’s college basketball at +32.1.

Not to mention, South Carolina has six wins over ranked opponents.

The reigning national champion LSU Tigers hosted the team on January 25, with the Gamecocks emerging with a 76-70 victory. The score was close for most of the contest and tied with just 1:42 left. Junior Bree Hall‘s go-ahead three with 1:14 left gave South Carolina a lead that it would maintain for the remainder of the game.

Dawn Staley’s Genius

After a successful eight-year coaching stint at Temple, the University of South Carolina hired Dawn Staley to be the program’s seventh head coach in 2008.

Staley is a consensus all-time great women’s basketball player. In four seasons at Virginia, the Philadelphia native won two Naismith Player of the Year awards. Staley played internationally and in the now defunct American Basketball League before being drafted ninth overall in the 1999 WNBA draft. In eight WNBA seasons, the 5-foot-6 point guard made five all-star teams.

In fact, Staley continued to coach the Temple Owls during six of her WNBA seasons.

The South Carolina women’s basketball team was an uninspiring program before the hiring of Staley. The Gamecocks had made two NCAA tournament appearances in the 17 years prior and are now a perennial powerhouse. After three rebuilding seasons under Staley, the Gamecocks have made the last 11 tournaments and now have two consecutive unbeaten regular seasons.

Staley also won the program’s first two national championships in 2017 and 2022.

South Carolina next competes in the SEC tournament quarterfinals on March 8. Staley is looking for her eighth SEC title, all of which have come within the last ten seasons.

About Lance Williams

Lance Williams is a first-year Economics major with a minor in Mass Communications, and an aspiring play-by-play broadcaster.

Check Also

South Carolina

South Carolina Wins Third National Title Over Iowa

The NCAA Women’s Basketball season concluded Sunday afternoon with South Carolina (39-0) completing its perfect …