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WOMENS BASKETBALL


South Carolina 73, East Carolina 36

South Carolina 73, East Carolina 36

By AARON BEARD
Associated Press

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Kamilla Cardoso had 12 points and 10 rebounds and the top-ranked South Carolina women blew the game open in the second quarter to beat East Carolina 73-36.

Freshman MiLaysia Fulwiley added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Gamecocks (12-0) in their final test before jumping into Southeastern Conference play. Things didn’t go completely smoothly, notably with a cold-shooting start that included plenty of missed layups and a game’s worth of empty trips to the foul line.

Yet the defense overpowered the Pirates (7-4) and locked up ECU top scorer Danae McNeal early. Once shots started falling for South Carolina, the lead steadily grew against a team struggling to find much space to operate.

South Carolina missed 15 of its first 20 shots before Te-Hina Paopao knocked down her second 3-pointer of the second quarter, the start of a game-deciding 15-1 run. ECU went four minutes without a basket as the Gamecocks stretched the lead to 34-13 on Sania Feagin’s runout layup.

South Carolina shot 41% for the game and made just 18 of 34 free throws.

McNeal, averaging 19.5 points, missed her first eight shots while seeing constant attention for multiple defenders before finishing with five points on 2-for-16 shooting. Amiya Joyner scored 10 points to lead ECU, which lost point guard Micah Dennis to first-quarter knee injury.

ECU shot just 19% and had as many turnovers as made baskets (13).

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: The Gamecocks have hit 12-0 for the third consecutive season and the staples were there in this one. They dominated the glass (58-42) while the defense finished with eight blocked shots.

ECU: The Pirates entered the season with five returning starters from the program’s third NCAA Tournament team, one that tied a school record with 23 wins. But they lost their 21st straight game to a ranked opponent dating to February 2015 and fell to 0-11 against No. 1-ranked teams.

South Carolina athletics press release





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