With MSU's 79-64 loss to South Carolina last season, the Gamecocks look to be MSU's fourth opponent that the Lady Bulldogs have avenged a loss from last season. MSU defeated Cincinnati, Xavier and UAB already this season.
MSU is 5-15 all-time in SEC openers. The Lady Bulldogs opened up SEC competition against South Carolina last season. MSU is 1-2 when opening SEC play with USC as its first opponent.
South Carolina is 12-1 on the season with its only loss to then No. 13 North Carolina, 78-69. The Gamecocks most recently breezed by Stetson, 101-39. They defeated No. 18 Boston College earlier this season, 54-51.
USC is riding a 15-0 homecourt streak, nine of which have come this season in the Gamecocks' new Carolina Center home.
Senior forward Jocelyn Penn leads the Gamecocks and the SEC with 28.2 ppg. Penn has scored five double-doubles and set new South Carolina and NCAA records, while tying the SEC records, with 51 points against Stetson. USC finished last season 25-7, 10-4 in the SEC (t-2nd). The Gamecocks advanced to the Elite Eight in 2002 before falling to No. 3 Duke, 77-68.
MSU leads the series 8-5. South Carolina has won the last two meetings. Last year the Gamecocks won in Starkville, 79-64. Tan White led all players last season with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Cristina Ciocan led USC in the scoring column with 20 points.
USC's Jocelyn Penn and MSU's LaToya Thomas are the number 1 and 2 leading scorers in the SEC with' 28.2 and 23.3 ppg. Penn also leads the nation right now and Thomas is in ninth place in points per game. The two have also been named preseason Naismith candidates and Senior Class Award candidates.