GAMEDAY Womens Basketball

South Carolina 68, Mississippi 43


By PETE IACOBELLI
>AP Sports Writer

COLUMBIA, S.,C. - South Carolina didn't waste time celebrating its latest victory over Mississippi, not with the bigger picture in sight.

Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley told her players in the locker room Thursday soon after the 68-43 rout that the stage was set for them to win a second straight Southeastern Conference regular-season title at No. 3 Texas A&M this weekend.

"It is a championship game," said Zia Cooke, who led South Carolina to its 13th straight win over Ole Miss, scoring 17 points. "We don't want to change up anything we've been doing."

Especially the locked-in defensive approach that helped South Carolina (19-3, 14-1 SEC) hold Mississippi (9-10, 3-10) to its worst shooting performance of the season.

Cooke, a sophomore, looks to continue the team's championship run. "This was the goal," she said. "That's what all the hard work was for."

The Gamecocks will face the one-loss Aggies in College Station, Texas, on Sunday with the winner hoisting the SEC trophy.

Cooke got the Gamecocks going quickly with 12 points in the first quarter. South Carolina steadily pulled away from the Rebels, who lost their third in a row, all to ranked opponents.

Ole Miss coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said her team was "manhandled" by the Gamecocks. The Rebels shot a combined 4 of 34 in the second and third quarters, shot a season-worst 26.2% and were outrebounded 43-28.

"We just weren't courageous and it was disappointing," she said.

South Carolina couldn't afford a slip at this odd weekday start time - Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley said earlier this week when she asked her operations people what was a good time to play, she was told early afternoon - with the Aggies looming.

Cooke came out on fire, scoring 10 of South Carolina's first 12 points.

While she cooled down in the second quarter (she started 0 for 6), South Carolina's defense did not as Mississippi struggled to find open shots. The Rebels finished the half missing their last 12 attempts and the Gamecocks held a 33-20 lead at halftime.

Shakira Austin scored a game-high 22 points for Mississippi.

LeLe Grissett added 12 points and Victaria Saxton 10 for the Gamecocks.

February 25, 2021


Ole Miss
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
S. Austin F 29 8-19 6-6 0-2 1-6 0 3 2 2 0 22
I. Kitchens F 27 0-1 0-0 0-0 2-4 0 0 0 0 4 0
S. Collins F 25 0-5 0-0 0-1 0-1 0 0 0 0 1 0
D. Johnson G 24 2-11 0-0 0-2 0-8 0 0 1 5 3 4
M. Reid G 24 1-3 0-0 0-1 0-2 5 0 1 0 2 2
T. Douglas 23 1-5 0-0 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 3
V. Nesbitt 17 3-10 1-2 0-0 0-3 0 0 1 5 3 7
M. Scott 13 0-3 2-2 0-0 2-3 0 0 0 0 4 2
C. McGee 10 0-2 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0
T. Smith 7 1-2 0-0 1-1 0-1 0 0 0 0 0 3
J. Bracey 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals   200 16-61
(.262)
9-10
(.900)
2-12
(.167)
5-28 5 3 5 15 19 43


South Carolina
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
A. Boston F 34 1-4 5-6 0-1 2-11 2 2 1 1 4 7
V. Saxton F 25 5-6 0-0 0-0 3-8 0 0 3 1 2 10
Z. Cooke G 35 7-23 3-4 0-3 0-1 1 0 1 4 2 17
D. Henderson G 34 2-7 0-0 2-3 0-4 4 0 1 1 1 6
B. Beal G 22 3-4 1-1 1-1 2-9 0 2 0 0 0 8
L. Grissett 24 3-6 6-8 0-0 0-5 2 1 1 2 2 12
L. Amihere 18 3-6 2-5 0-0 2-3 1 1 0 3 2 8
D. Littleton 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 0 0 0
E. Russell 4 0-2 0-0 0-1 0-1 0 1 2 1 0 0
Totals   200 24-58
(.414)
17-24
(.708)
3-9
(.333)
9-43 10 7 9 14 13 68




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