South Carolina women's basketball is looking to earn a win towards their fifth-straight SEC Tournament title on Friday. The Gamecocks will take on the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina at 6 p.m.
The Gamecocks are the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament behind Mississippi State, who the Gamecocks lost to twice this season.
Because South Carolina is a No. 2 seed, it received a double-bye, meaning the quarterfinal round on Friday will be its first game.
The last time the Gamecocks took the court, they lost to the No. 1 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs by a score of 68-64 in Columbia. Despite the loss, senior forward Alexis Jennings and the rest of the Gamecocks still look to make a deep run into the SEC Tournament.
"Everybody's just in a positive, good mood even after the loss," Jennings said. "We are just taking it with a grain of salt and moving on, game by game."
But despite winning four straight SEC Tournament titles, an SEC women's basketball record, head coach Dawn Staley knows that any sort of pressure is irrelevant.
“There's no pressure on us, there wasn’t any pressure on us last year," Staley said. "I don’t think anyone thinks we're the favorite going down there.”
Despite having a short amount of time to prepare for a specific opponent, Staley said the fact that both teams play a lot of ball screen action made the preparation for Arkansas a lot easier.
With the double-bye in the tournament, South Carolina did not know who its opponent was until late Thursday night. Because of this, leading up to Friday's game, the Gamecocks had to prepare for two possible competitors: University of Georgia and University of Arkansas.
“We try to find common ground and common ground for both those teams is a lot of ball screen action,” Staley said.
The Gamecocks look to take momentum from the SEC Tournament to the NCAA Tournament, which begins next week.
If the Gamecocks beat the Razorbacks on Friday night, they will take on the winner of the match between No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 6 Auburn Tigers for the semifinals on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.