GAMEDAY Womens Basketball

South Carolina 81, South Dakota 71

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - After winning by 81 in its season opener, South Carolina found a tougher fight against South Dakota.

Destanni Henderson and Zia Cooke each scored 19 points, and the top-ranked Gamecocks pulled away after halftime for an 81-71 win in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic.

"We're going to be tested," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "We were tested today. We're going to be tested tomorrow. We could have scheduled differently, but this type of competition is the best type of teacher."

Henderson finished two points shy of a career high. She was 8 of 13 from the floor and also had nine rebounds.

Chloe Lamb led South Dakota (0-1) with 18 points, and Hannah Sjerven added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

South Carolina (2-0) trailed by five during the second quarter and the game was tied 37-37 at halftime before the Gamecocks pulled away. They outscored the Coyotes 31-11 in the third quarter, and Cooke's basket with 19 seconds left gave the Gamecocks a 20-point lead entering the final frame.

"Nothing changed," Staley said. "I thought South Dakota played great basketball and we played subpar basketball. I thought we looked unorganized at times. We looked rushed. I knew we had another gear in us. When that gear kicked in, I thought we did a great job of exploding for a 31-point third quarter."

They stretched the advantage to 21 in the fourth quarter before South Dakota cut it to seven with just under a minute to play.

Associated Press

November 28, 2020