Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019
BATON ROUGE, La. – From start to finish #21/25 South Carolina women's basketball dominated LSU, defeating the Lady Tigers 76-53 in Baton Rouge Sunday night. The Gamecocks (12-4, 4-0 SEC) scored 29 points on 76.9 percent shooting in the first quarter and never looked back for their ninth-straight win over LSU.
Four Gamecocks scored in double figures in the win with junior guard Te'a Cooper leading offense with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting in 23 minutes. Senior forward Alexis Jennings shot an efficient 4-of-6 from the floor to score 10 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan and Bianca Jackson each added 10 points to round out the Gamecocks' top scorers.
For the second-straight game, the Gamecocks raced out to an early lead. The 9-0 run to begin the game was led by redshirt-senior Bianca Cuevas-Moore who sank a pair of free throws, but also made a diving play on the defensive end before assisting Tyasha Harris on a 3-pointer. Carolina followed a fast start with a blazing finish in the opening quarter, Herbert Harrigan and Harris each scored a pair of buckets to extend the Gamecock lead to 29-11.
Carolina's final nine points of the first quarter extended into the second quarter and ended in a 15-2 run. The first-half lead grew to as much as 25 after Jackson hit a three. Carolina's defense was lock down in the second quarter, forcing an LSU drought during which the Lady Tigers shot 2-of-10 and helped the Gamecocks end the first half with a 45-23 advantage.
The Gamecocks pushed their lead to as much as 27 points during the third quarter. Although Carolina only outscored LSU 16-15 during the period, a 7-0 run, highlighted by a Cooper and-one, gave the Gamecocks a 56-29 lead with 4:01 in the quarter. The Lady Tigers and the Gamecocks traded buckets for the remainder of the quarter and went into the fourth quarter with Carolina on top 61-38.
The two teams played an even fourth quarter, each scoring 15 points. Nelly Perry connected on an and-one with 2:47 to go, and Jackson reached double figures in the final minute to help the Gamecocks coast to the 76-53 win on the road.
Carolina shot 76.9 percent in the opening quarter that led to a 29-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. The 18-point scoring margin is the largest of any quarter for the Gamecocks in SEC play.
QUOTABLE DAWN STALEY
Staley on 9-0 run to begin the game…
"It was good to have a start like that, especially on the road. I just thought we were playing well on both sides of the ball and sometimes [a run] like that happens. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, you celebrate the things that went well."
The Gamecocks forced 13 LSU turnovers that led to 18 points during the game, including seven during the Gamecocks' 9-0 run to begin the game.
The Gamecocks have defeated the Lady Tigers nine times in a row dating back to 2012; allowing an average of just 54 points per game while scoring 74 per game during the nine-game winning streak.
With a 27-20 advantage against LSU, Carolina is now 11-1 when its bench outscores its opponent's bench.
South Carolina's defense was in top form against LSU, holding the Lady Tigers to 37.9 percent shooting from the floor. Carolina is now 11-0 when it holds its opponent under 39.0 percent shooting from the field.
Led by five assists from Harris, the Gamecocks assisted on 15 of their 27 field goals. Carolina is 9-0 this season when it assists on more than half of its field goals.
Carolina held the Lady Tigers to just 28 rebounds in the win, the fewest rebounds allowed since Appalachian State (Dec. 5) and the fewest since SEC play began.
Herbert Harrigan scored in double figures for the fourth-straight game, Carolina is 4-0 during that stretch.
Jackson's 10 points is the most she has scored in a game since Purdue (Dec. 16). The Gamecocks are 3-0 this season when she reaches 10 points.
The Gamecocks (12-4, 4-0 SEC) remain on the road when they take on Mississippi State on Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Carolina returns home on Mon., Jan. 21, against Missouri at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.