In a highly anticipated showdown between SEC powerhouses, the No. 1 South Carolina’s Gamecocks staged an impressive comeback against the No. 9 LSU Tigers, clinching a hard-fought 76-70 victory and extending their unbeaten streak with a remarkable 28th consecutive road win.
Despite facing a five-point deficit at halftime, the Gamecocks displayed resilience, ultimately securing the win in a thrilling clash.
As the game reached a tied score of 70-70 with just 1:37 on the clock, South Carolina’s Bree Hall and Raven Johnson emerged as heroes. Hall’s pivotal 3-pointer and Johnson’s decisive layup in the final seconds sealed the comeback victory.
A balanced scoring effort from the Gamecocks played a pivotal role, with Chloe Kitts leading the charge with 14 points. Every member of the starting lineup contributed double figures, emphasizing the team’s offensive prowess.
The impact of star forward Angel Reese fouling out with 4:02 remaining became a turning point in the high-stakes matchup. Despite Reese’s impactful performance against Kamilla Cardoso, her fouls led to a late surge from South Carolina, culminating in an 11-3 run to close the game.
Reese’s absence had a profound impact on LSU’s performance, shifting the momentum in favour of the Gamecocks. The Tigers, leading 67-65 when Reese left the court, faced a significant downturn without her presence.
In the individual battle between Reese and Cardoso, Reese showcased her brilliance by outscoring the South Carolina centre 15-11. However, undisciplined fouls, including her fifth against Raven Johnson, proved costly for LSU.
With Sa’Myah Smith out for the season, Reese’s importance to LSU’s success became evident, highlighting the need for her presence on the court against top-tier opponents.
While LSU struggled with limited substitutions, South Carolina’s depth emerged as a game-changer. Contributions from the second unit, including players like Sania Feagin, MiLaysia Fulwiley, and Ashlyn Watkins, played pivotal roles in securing the Gamecocks’ victory. Feagin’s defensive prowess, Fulwiley’s timely triples, and Watkins’ defensive contributions showcased the team’s ability to shine beyond the starting lineup.