SOUTH CAROLINA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL - Gamecocks rebound from 1st loss with win at Paradise Jam.
The 5th ranked South Carolina women's basketball team turned in a solid defensive performance and got big nights from their two Caribbean natives in a 68-53 win over Washington State in the 2nd round of the Paradise Jam Reef Division Friday night.
The Gamecock victory was built on defense, though, as South Carolina returned to its lock-down effort on that end of the court. Washington State scored just 9 points each in the 1st and 3rd quarters on combined 25.0 percent shooting. The Gamecocks also scored 23 points off 21 Cougar turnovers.
The Gamecocks used ball movement and attacking the rim to build a 16-point lead after the 1st quarter and were in front by 15 late in the second before a string of Washington State 3s closed the gap to 37-32 at halftime.
The Gamecocks took over in the 3rd quarter, especially on the defensive end, allowing the Cougars just nine points in the period - the 14th single-digit quarter by an opponent this season. Meanwhile, all five Gamecock starters contributed to the 13-3 run that opened the 2nd half. After South Carolina stretched out a 50-35 advantage just 4 minutes into the period, both teams went cold over the final 6 minutes of the third quarter, leaving the Gamecocks with a 51-41 lead heading into the 4th.
In the final period, the seniors dominated with Harris and Herbert Harrigan scoring the first 9 points of the period while the defense held the Cougars scoreless over the first four minutes of the quarter to build a 60-41 lead that Washington State could not overcome.
Up next for South Carolina is a matchup with 2nd ranked Baylor. The Lady Bears defeated the Gamecocks twice last season, including the NCAA Tournament.