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WOMENS BASKETBALL


South Carolina 91, Vanderbilt 74

South Carolina 91, Vanderbilt 74

PETE IACOBELLI
ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Kamilla Cardoso scored 23 points and No. 1 South Carolina followed up its big win over defending national champion LSU with its 16th straight victory over Vanderbilt, 91-74.

The Gamecocks (19-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) started slowly in their first game since winning at No. 9 LSU 76-70 on Thursday night. But Cardoso and her teammates soon took control to win their 51st straight at home.

South Carolina looked like it still had LSU triumph on its mind at first. The players danced and shimmied during pregame warmups and coach Dawn Staley came out in black hoodie with “Boo,” on it — a clapback to her joke about her treatment by LSU fans.

And Vanderbilt (17-4, 4-3), which came in on ts best 20-game start in 17 years, stuck with the powerhouse Gamecocks early on. The Commodores were up 21-20 on Sacha Washington’s foul shot with 8:56 left in the half.

That’s when South Carolina took on a a 22-9 run the rest of the period to take control. Tessa Johnson, Te-Hina Paopao and Bree Hall all hit threes and Ashlyn Watkins had a three-point play during the stretch.

Cardoso, the 6-foot-7 senior who leads the SEC in field goal percentage (.600), made nine of 14 shots and finished two points shy of her career best set during her freshman year at Syracuse.

Hall and Watkins added 11 points each for the Gamecocks. Watkins also had a game-high eight boards and three of the Gamecocks seven blocks.

Washington and Aga Makurat led Vanderbilt 18 points apiece.

THE BIG PICTURE

Vanderbilt: The Commodores are on the rise in coach Shea Ralph’s third season. But they still have a ways to go to catch up to South Carolina. Vanderbilt’s post players struggled slowing down Cardoso. Still, the team remains on track for their first winning season since 2015-16 and their first NCAA Tournament trip in 10 years.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks were not the sharpest they’ve been this season, yet are off to a second straight 19-0 start and extended a home win streak that began in December 2020. South Carolina won for the 1,001st time in program history.

South Carolina athletics press release

January 28, 2024





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