Who: No. 8 South Carolina (20-5, 9-3 SEC) vs. No. 20 Georgia (21-4, 9-3 SEC)
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where: Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Georgia
Watch: Streaming online on SEC Network Plus via the WatchESPN app
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Series History: USC has won seven straight against the Lady Bulldogs, dating back to 2014. However, Georgia owns the all-time edge between the two programs, 33-14.
Last Time Out: South Carolina held off a fiesty Florida squad that closed to within four points late for a 64-57 win at home. Georgia lost to Tennessee on the road to move to 2-2 in its last four games.
South Carolina Starters: F A’ja Wilson, F Alexis Jennings, G Doniyah Cliney, G Bianca Jackson, G Tyasha Harris
Georgia Starters: F Mackenzie Engram, F Caliya Robinson, G Que Morrison, G Taja Cole, G Haley Clark
Key Storyline: As Mississippi State continues to run away with the regular season SEC title, teams like Georgia and South Carolina still have a lot left to play for. Specifically, the result of this game will help break up a three-way time for second place in the conference, and the loser will be in serious danger of dropping out of the conference’s top four teams — and not receiving the hugely important double-bye for the league tournament.
Missouri, Texas A&M and LSU are all one game back from Georgia and USC, and while all the tiebreakers have yet to be determined, the winner of this matchup will be in prime position for a top-four finish.
For South Carolina, Thursday will also be a test of whether Dawn Staley can reset her struggling squad, which has scraped together two straight wins over lower-level opponents but looked very vulnerable doing it. It has been nearly three weeks since the Gamecocks took down Missouri. Since then, they’ve been playing uninspired basketball.
Georgia, meanwhile, is not exactly on a hot streak itself. Recent losses to LSU and Tennessee have marred a fantastic season for the Lady Bulldogs and highlighted their weaker schedule. Yes, they’ve beaten Missouri and Texas A&M, but beyond that there aren’t many quality wins on their schedule.
Other Notes: One of two ranked opponents left on the road for South Carolina, Georgia is already way ahead of its preseason projections — the Lady Bulldogs were picked to finish eighth in the conference and didn’t receive votes in the AP or coaches poll. ... Georgia is one win away from its best season in five years.
The Georgia frontcourt duo of Mackenzie Engram and Caliya Robinson each average more than 12 points and six rebounds per game. Robinson also ranks second in the conference in blocks per game, behind only A’ja Wilson.
USC sophomore guard Tyasha Harris is averaging 6.32 assists per game to lead the conference. She is also on pace to break USC’s program record for most assists in a season. She’s also on pace to play more minutes this year than all but three other Gamecocks ever.
A’ja Record Watch: 103 points from becoming South Carolina’s career scoring leader, on pace to break the record in the first game of the SEC tournament