Lady Gamecocks crack Top 25 for first time since 2003

South Carolina women’s basketball is ranked No. 24 in the nation this week in the Associated Press poll. It is the first national ranking for the Gamecocks since March 17, 2003.

The Gamecocks are 14-2 on the season, including a 3-0 start in SEC play, making it the best start to a season in nearly a decade.

“[Being ranked this week] is a tribute to our program, a tribute to our former players who helped us get to where we are,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “We’ve been on the other side of this for quite some time, so I welcome it. But I know it won’t define us because we’ve got a lot more left in the season.”

South Carolina has defeated two nationally ranked teams this season, both during the current eight-game win streak that propelled the Gamecocks into the national rankings.

The team’s 14-2 overall record is the best start to a season since the 2002-03 team posted the same mark through 16 games. South Carolina has not been undefeated through three games of SEC action since the 2001-02 squad opened with a 4-0 record en route to a 10-4 mark that left it tied for second in the league standings. The Gamecocks advanced to the NCAA Tournament in both of those seasons.

The Gamecocks are now among the five SEC teams ranked in the top 25. South Carolina is one spot above Vanderbilt in this week’s rankings. Tennessee leads the way at No. 6 with Kentucky close behind at No. 9. Georgia rounds out the group at No. 19.

South Carolina continues its stretch of four road games among its next five contests with a trip to LSU for an 8 p.m. (ET) tipoff with the Lady Tigers on Thu., Jan. 12. The Gamecocks are back at home on Sun., Jan. 15, against No. 11/9 Kentucky at 3 p.m.

Photo by Digital Magic Photo

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