USC vs. Clemson: More than a Rivalry

As if South Carolina and Clemson don’t have enough reasons to be competitive rivals, head coach Dawn Staley gives another definition to the term heading into Thursday’s game.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley will be matching-up against former teammate Audra Smith.

Smith is the head coach of the Clemson women’s basketball team, and the two played under Debbie Ryan at Virginia for four seasons (1989-92).

Leading the team to three NCAA Final Four trips and two ACC Championships, the successful coaches have quite the history.

Smith hails from the state of Georgia and was Miss Basketball in 1988. She’s in her second year as head coach with the Tigers and spent nine seasons at UAB. Smith notched the most wins within her first season at Clemson since 2009-2010, with 13.

Clemson leads the series 33-26, but the Gamecocks have won the last four meetings by an average of 19.3 points. Also, South Carolina holds a 17-10 advantage in Columbia.

However, there is more on the line for this game.

With a win, Dawn Staley would be within five games of reaching her 300th win of her career and mark as the longest winning streak over Clemson in the history of women’s basketball. The Gamecocks would join the South Carolina football team, adding another tally to complete five straight wins.

Take a look at what Staley had to say about the contest following practice on Wednesday.


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