Senior Spotlight on Olivia Gaines


With the final regular season home game tonight being senior night, this senior spotlight on Olivia Gaines shows that sometimes no matter how good you are, it’s hard to earn a lot of time when you play on a team with so much quality.  Gaines went to Chester High School where she averaged almost 20 points per game, then came to the University of South Carolina two years ago after being named the Junior/Community College Player of the Year.  She had originally verbally committed to High Point, but then changed her mind to come play for Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks.  That always sounds like a great plan, but when you’re on a team with eight guards, and two forwards who can play guard, you have to truly be a team player.

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Olivia Gaines has not played a lot of minutes, but she’s played in most games, and even started against Alabama.  And the great thing about having someone like Gaines on the team is that usually when you go that deep, you are really going to step down.  With her, you are getting a gritty, hustling player who will be all over the court.  She’s tenacious on defense, and get steals and rebounds, and will dish the ball well the entire time she is in there.  As with the other seniors, as the Gamecocks head into the tournaments, her experience and seniority will be a huge benefit.  We’ve already seen some of the freshman get a little out of control or not be able to really keep up in the really big games, and this is where Gaines can come off the bench and make an impact.  To highlight this point, who can forget the great steal Gaines and then smartly-called timeout with just 10 seconds left that helped South Carolina come from behind and beat #8 Duke 51-50 at Cameron Stadium in what was one of their biggest victories of the year.  That is Olivia Gaines.

Tonight is senior night at 7pm at the Colonial Life Arena, as we give thanks to these women who have helped the Gamecocks reach this level of success.  South Carolina ranked #2 is 26-1 and 14-0 in the SEC and plays #11 Mississippi St in a huge conference game.  The team is also hoping to finish #1 in overall attendance for the season, so make sure and come out to support these seniors, Coach Dawn Staley and the rest of the Lady Gamecocks!