Gamecocks Score 20th Win of
Season, 78-62 Over Missouri
S.C. –With six Gamecocks in double figures for the second game in a
row, No. 7/8 South Carolina shot past Missouri 78-62 Sunday afternoon
at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks (20-2, 8-1 SEC) reached the
20-win plateau in front of a season-high crowd of 7,828, the sixth-best
women’s basketball crowd in Colonial Life Arena history.
starting the game down by three, the Gamecocks put up eight unanswered
points, started by Aleighsa Welch’s jumper off her own offensive
rebound. South Carolina converted back-to-back three-point plays from
Elem Ibiam and Tiffany Mitchell to go ahead 8-3 less than four minutes
into the game.
Leading 8-5, South Carolina launched a 10-2 run
over the next four minutes, bookending the run with 3-pointers by Asia
Dozier, building the lead to 18-7 with 11:44 left in the first period.
Defensively, three Missouri turnovers contributed to the surge, which
included points in the paint from Welch and Ibiam as well.
Tigers rallied, chipping away at the Gamecock lead with solid defensive
rebounding and better shot selection until they were within six at
25-19 with 6:45 remaining in the half.
With a renewed urgency,
South Carolina locked in on the defensive end, holding Missouri
scoreless for just over four minutes while pushing the tempo on offense
to sprint to a 39-19 lead with under three minutes left in the half.
Khadijah Sessions and Ibiam combined for nine of the 14, including five
from the free-throw line, while Alaina Coates added a bucket from each
block to cap the run.
The Tigers started scoring again, but
could not stop the Gamecocks, who closed the half on a 6-0 run,
including four points from Sessions, to take a 48-25 lead into the
locker room at halftime.
Welch started the Gamecocks off in the
second period with a turnaround jumper, extending the lead to 25, but
Missouri began lining up 3-pointers to knife into South Carolina’s
advantage with a 15-3 as the defense forced four Gamecock turnovers and
the offense hit three 3-pointers and a traditional three-point play
from Bri Kulas to make it a 53-40 game with 13:05 to play.
by the boisterous crowd, the Gamecocks responded with the next nine
points. Coates started the run with a basket on the low block then
snagged a defensive rebound on the other end. Mitchell added the next
five points with a 3-pointer from the left side and a layup off her own
steal to put the Gamecocks back up by 20. Welch finished off the spurt
with a free-throw line jumper, making it a 62-40 lead with 8:57 to play.
Tigers had one more run in them, but South Carolina was able to ebb
their offensive flow again as Mitchell’s second 3-pointer of the game
squelched a 10-3 surge that brought them within 15 points at 67-52 with
5:30 to play. Missouri tried to keep it going by sending the Gamecocks
to the free throw, but South Carolina made just enough to stay in front
and secure their 20th win of the season.
All five starters and
Coates off the bench were in double figures, accounting for all 78 of
the Gamecocks’ points on the afternoon. Mitchell led the way with 20,
while Sessions and Coates added 13 each. Welch and Dozier netted 11
each, and Ibiam rounded out the group with 10. Mitchell just missed her
second double-double of the season with nine rebounds to go with three
assists and four steals. Sessions showed great vision all day with six
assists and four steals.