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WOMENS BASKETBALL


South Carolina 85, Mississippi State 66

South Carolina 85, Mississippi State 66

BY PETE IACOBELLI
ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Bree Hall had 15 points including back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter to extend an uncomfortably close margin and help No. 1 South Carolina stay undefeated with an 85-66 victory over Mississippi State.

Kamilla Cardoso added 13 points, 14 rebounds and a team-high six assists and Chloe Kitts and Te-Hina Paopao had 12 points apiece for the Gamecocks (2-0 SEC), who opened 14-0 for a second straight season.

But this was far from the runaway midway through the third quarter with Mississippi State hanging around, down just 54-44 and sticking tight. That’s when Hall struck for her long-range baskets to the cheers of the once-edgy fans.

Mississippi State (13-4, 0-2) could not respond and fell to 1-16 all-time against top-ranked opponents.

The Bulldogs have always been a troublesome opponent for the Gamecocks and gave the star-laden team of Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke all they could handle in South Carolina’s 58-51 win a year ago.

It was the same thing early on in this one with the Bulldogs up 19-16 late in the opening period. That’s when South Carolina responded with a 10-2 run to take a lead they would not relinquish on the way to a sixth straight victory in the series.

Jerkaila Jordan led the Bulldogs with 25 points.

THE BIG PICTURE

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have all the pieces to get back to the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season with Lauren Park-Lane and Jordan in the backcourt and 6-foot-5 Jessika Carter down low. They shouldn’t see as many teams as talented or relentless as the Gamecocks.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks got pushed early and showed they’ve got more than enough to rally back to win for the 56th time in their past 57 games. Their only loss in that stretch was to Caitlin Clark’s Iowa team in the Final Four last March.

South Carolina athletics press release

January 7, 2024





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