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No. 1 South Carolina WBB caps perfect regular season with win over Tennessee

Payton Titus, The State on

Published in Basketball

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Perfection (again).

South Carolina women’s basketball solidified its second consecutive undefeated regular season Sunday with a 76-68 win over Tennessee at Colonial Life Arena. The victory extended USC’s program-record home win streak to 57.

“I am super proud of them,” coach Dawn Staley said. “Like, super proud. If you compare the undefeated season from last year to this year, it’s so much different. Yet we end up in the same place. And it doesn’t make me any more or less proud.”

Staley employed a different starting five than expected: stalwarts Kamilla Cardoso, Te-Hina Paopao and Bree Hall were joined by Sania Feagin (making her second consecutive and career start) and MiLaysia Fulwiley (making her third career start).

Chloe Kitts and Raven Johnson usually start. Johnson entered the game about halfway through the first quarter. Kitts followed about three minutes later. Staley said after the game that Johnson and Kitts broke a minor team rule, but didn’t specify either’s disgression.

Five Gamecocks scored in double figures: Cardoso (18 points plus 13 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season), Hall (13), Paopao (14), Fulwiley (13) and Ashlyn Watkins (13).

 

Next up: the SEC Tournament. South Carolina’s first game is Friday, having secured a double bye after winning the SEC regular-season title earlier this month. Its opponent is still to be determined. USC (29-0, 16-0 SEC) will play the winner of Thursday’s game versus the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds.

Kamilla Cardoso, Te-Hina Paopao show out on Senior Day

In what could have been their final regular-season home game with the Gamecocks, Cardoso and Paopao each put on a stellar performance.

Cardoso finished the first half just one rebound shy of a double-double (14 points, nine boards). She fought Tennessee’s talented post players Rickea Jackson and Tamari Key for tough baskets and trips to the free throw line. A Cardoso and-1 sent all five Gamecocks on the bench to their feet. They flexed their arms by the sides to celebrate their teammates’ assertiveness at the rim.

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