No. 1 South Carolina cruises past Vanderbilt

No. 1 South Carolina cruises past Vanderbilt


13 hours ago Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – 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, Sunday.

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 its 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 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.

Notables:

With the 91-74 win, the Gamecocks have tallied 23 consecutive wins at home by double digits.
South Carolina continued to prove its depth, with all nine Gamecocks who stepped onto the floor scoring at least a bucket, and five finishing in double figures.
The Gamecocks packed the paint against the Commodores, outscoring Vanderbilt 48-28.
South Carolina shot at least 50.0 percent in all but the first quarter. .
Kamilla Cardoso finished with a new SEC career high of 23 points, scoring eight of the Gamecocks’ first 12 points in the game then dropped 13 in the third period in just nine minutes on the court.
Bree Hall notched her 10th game this season finishing in double-figures, putting up 11 with seven coming in the first half.
Ashlyn Watkins ended with 11 points and a team-high three blocks, two of which came back-to-back in the final seconds of the game to keep the Commodores from scoring the final bucket.
Raven Johnson had a strong third quarter, putting up six of her 10 points on a pair of 3s as part of a 17-5 run by the Gamecocks to put themselves on top by 20, in addition to dishing out a team-high seven assists.



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