Two Players, Countless Memories: A Look Back At Two Of Dawn Staley’s Best Ever

Four SEC Titles, one National Title, 111-23 Record, 6,711 minutes played, 267 combined games, 2,422 points scored and countless memories that have made the last four years some of the best years of Gamecock history.

With senior day against #12 Texas A&M (22-6, 10-5) on Sunday, all of Gamecock Nation looks forward to celebrating the great legacy left behind by the two sole members of this year’s senior class, Tyasha Harris & Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan.

Though they came in as four, Ty & KiKi, as they were affectionately called by Gamecock Nation, were the only two to stay all four years and see Coach Staley’s vision for them through.

They fought through adversity and strife and experienced the mountain highs and the fruits of the labor they put in.

They were the final pieces that came in and took the Gamecocks to a place they had never reached before: the National Championship.

As freshmen, they came in and contributed and put in their fair share of work and now we as Gamecocks, have a National Title to show for it.

They were the missing pieces that made it all come together and now four wonderful years later they look poised to finish this amazing story where they started it, as national champions. 

Tyasha Harris

The General. The centerpiece and captain of Dawn Staley’s offense.

The Noblesville, Indiana native has been a four year starter for the Gamecocks starting 123 of her 135 games played in a garnet and black uniform.

Harris has been heavily relied on in her time as a Gamecock, logging 4,046 minutes, third most by any player, and her average of 30 minutes a game is the ninth best average.

Her playing time is as high as it is due to her ability to lead the team on the floor and create offense.

And boy, does she create offense.

In her four years, Ty has accounted for 674 assist, good enough for first in SC history and tenth in SEC History.

Harris averages 5 APG, third best percentage in SC history, but can also account for some points herself.

Ty has accumulated 1,295 points in her career, 9.6 a game, and her 131 made three pointers ranks ninth best in SC history. Her .330 3-PT FG% is the ninth best percentage in school history as well.

Offensively, Harris has been key to the Gamecocks success as she even has the second best percentage at the free throw line at 78.8% in Gamecock’s history.

But she’s not just offense, as she is also ninth in school history in steals at 216.

In four years, Harris has been arguably the most important piece for the Gamecocks as her offense and defense has fueled SC to several championships and over 100 wins.

Ty’s career night of 28 points on 1/14/18 vs #6 Tennessee kept the Gamecocks in that game all the way to the end.

Even though she did not come away with the win, as a sophomore, she announced her presence and soon the whole world would know her name.

Tyasha Harris has become a legend for the Garnet and Black and has made a strong case for herself, in her senior year, to be the National POY, even nearly replicating numbers similar to her head coaches number in her respective senior year at Virginia.

As the season winds down, I would not be surprised to see Harris close the gap and make the voters have to seriously think about who should be college basketball’s player of the year.

Sabrina Ionescu is a great basketball player but Ms. Tyasha Harris arguably may be just as good. 

Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan 

Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan. KiKi. The attitude and leader of Dawn Staley’s defense.

The 6’2 forward from Pembroke Pines, Florida has appeared in 132 games for SC, eighth best in SC history, and has started 58 of them.

In her four years, KiKi has played a total of 2,665 minutes and scored 1,127 points (8.5 a game) and her free throw percentage (78.2%) is third best in school history.

KiKi also hits 39% behind the arc since really starting to take that shot in her junior year as she has 32 3’s in her last two years.

In fact, her best career day came last year in the Gamecock’s SEC tournament first game loss when she scored 27 points against Arkansas keeping the game to a single digit spread before the Gamecocks would eventually run out of time and would be sent home early.

Her offense is really good but it’s her defense that has truly benefited the Gamecocks the most.

Herbert-Harrigan has racked up 570 rebounds, good enough for 4.3 a game and 201 blocks.

She currently ranks third in school history in blocks behind only A’ja Wilson and Alaina Coates and is fifth in blocks per game.

Her presence on the court has been a major reason why the Gamecocks have only allowed opponents to score just 55.8 points a game.

When people talk about defensive players at SC, it’ll be hard to have that conversation without mentioning Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan. 


#12 Texas A&M will come into Columbia off the heels of a bad loss to Alabama on Thursday and will be looking to rebound and spoil senior night for Ty and KiKi, but if I know those two they have other plans.

Ty will need to keep the Gamecock offense humming along as she always does and maintain their strong scoring pattern of 82.5 points a game and KiKi will need to lead the defense and keep A&M’s dangerous Chennedy Carter at bay.

Carter was a preseason SEC POY candidate and is averaging 21.7 a game. Carter has missed several games this season due to injury so she may not be as good on the endurance end as A&M would like.

The Gamecocks will need to make her work for her points and contest all of her shots.

If they make it hard for her then the advantage goes to SC in this game. A&M averages 70.5 PPG so offense should be fun to watch and we could see an offensive style game come Sunday with high scores on both ends.

Sunday is sure to be a fun one, as we celebrate all the memories and great times that the last four years have brought us thanks to our great duo.

No matter what happens from this point on, no matter how the season ends, let’s us always remember these two and let us remember all the work, time, and effort that they put in to give us all that we have because of them.

There may never be another Ty and another KiKi, but the foundation they built and strengthened and the legacy they left behind is sure to guide and inspire many a generation of future Gamecocks to chase their dreams and work hard, because as Dawn Staley promised “if you come to the University of South Carolina, and you work hard, you will graduate, you will win SEC Championships, and you will compete for a national title”.

She made them a promise and they believed in it and made it happen. We owe these two more than we can ever repay or they will ever know. 

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