Sports & Culture Media

National Champs Set for Fort Myers Tip-Off in November

Media Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Three-time National Champion South Carolina women’s basketball will face Iowa State and Purdue in the 2024 Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off, the event organizer Intersport announced today. The Gamecocks will play in the Island Division against the Cyclones on Thu., Nov. 28, and the Boilermakers on Sat., Nov. 30, at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida Southwestern State College.

Travel packages for fans looking to join their favorite team at the Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off will be available on July 16 at The Westin Cape Coral and Marina Village and the Marriott Sanibel Harbour are the event’s host hotels and fans will have the opportunity to stay where the teams stay and experience resort life to the fullest.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley returns nine letterwinners from her undefeated 2024 National Championship team for the 2024-25 season, including three All-SEC selections in the NCAA’s top 3-point percentage shooter in senior guard Te-Hina Paopao, junior point guard Raven Johnson and junior forward Ashlyn Watkins, along with second leading scorer MiLaysia Fulwiley. Starters Bree Hall and Chloe Kitts are back as well, joined by NCAA Final Four All-Tournament selection Tessa Johnson and forwards Sania Feagin and Sakima Walker. The veteran group welcomes junior transfer Maryam Dauda and the Nos. 3 and 14 signees in the Class of 2025 in Joyce Edwards and Madisen McDaniel. Class of 2025 early enrollee Adhel Tac is expected to be ready to take the floor this season as well.

The Gamecocks became the 10th team in NCAA history to complete an undefeated National Championship season in 2023-24, adding the program’s eighth SEC Regular-Season Championship and eighth SEC Tournament title as well. South Carolina led the nation in scoring defense, scoring margin and blocked shots per game, setting program records for scoring average, scoring margin, field goals made, 3-point field goals made, defensive rebounds and assists.

Iowa State played into the second round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 21-12 overall record to earn the No. 25 spot in the final Associated Press Poll of the season. The Cyclones return their top two scorers and rebounders in All-Big 12 First-Team selectionAudi Crooks (19.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and Addy Brown (13.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg), who grabbed All-Big 12 Honorable Mention status last season. Emily Ryan’s 6.9 assists per game are also back for the 2024-25 season.

Purdue won three of its last five games last season, including a pair of wins in the WNIT, to finish with a 15-19 overall record. Sophomore McKenna Layden is the Boilermakers’ top returning scorer at 9.8 points per game.

Other games announced on the Gamecocks’ 2024-25 season – Mon., Nov. 4, vs. Michigan in Las Vegas, Nev., in the Hall of Fame Series, Sun., Nov. 10 in Charlotte, N.C., against NC State in the Ally Tipoff, Sun., Nov. 24, at UCLA and Thu., Dec. 5, against Duke in Columbia.

Tyler Butler