Lady Gamecocks Ready for SEC Tournament


After a very successful season, the question now is are the Lady Gamecocks ready for SEC tournament play?  The South Carolina women’s basketball team finished the regular season 27-2 overall and 15-1 in the SEC.  They head into the tournament as the #1 seed after finishing the season tied with Tennessee, but earned the top spot because of their head-to-head victory over the Vols just recently.

As exciting as all that is, and it’s hard to believe anyone could think like this, it’s still a little disappointing.  After being in the driver’s seat most of the season, the Gamecocks seemed likely to finish alone at the top of the SEC and be only the second team to ever finish 16-0 in the conference for the season.  However, Sunday night Kentucky dominated the Gamecocks for much of the game, especially once the second half started and won 67-56.  South Carolina might have been looking ahead too much, or just went in over-confident with unusually sloppy play which included 20 turnovers and missing the first 8 shots of the second half.  They were off-target shooting in just about every way shooting 32% from the field including several missed under the basket, 27% from 3-point range, and only 50% from free throw line.  Tiffany Mitchell and Bianca Cuevas also fouled out.  A’Ja Wilson was the only bright spot with a huge game of 16 points, 19 rebounds and 6 blocked shots, and the only downside was they didn’t go to her more often down the stretch.

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The hope is that the Gamecocks got a lot of junk out of their system, and will be looking to prove themselves when they start play on Friday.  They will play the winner of the Ole Miss/Arkansas game on Thursday, both of which had losing records in conference play.  The women beat  both those teams on the road just a few weeks ago (which is easy to figure out since you can easily remember the losses as there were only two!).  That game will be at 1pm Friday on the SEC Network.  From there, the Gamecocks would take on the winner of the bracket which includes LSU, Texas A&M, Florida, and Auburn.

South Carolina will be looking to not only prove themselves as one of the best in the nation, but also to make up for last year’s semifinal loss to Kentucky.  If there’s a silver lining from Sunday’s loss, it is that Coach Dawn Staley will push these women ever harder than she already does to make sure they are more than ready Friday.  They’ve had a great season, and adding an SEC Championship would certainly be fitting.