South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from Gamecocks' win over Tennessee

South Carolina basketball capped off their second-straight undefeated regular season (the first in SEC history) with a home win over the Tennessee Volunteers.

South Carolina basketball star Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball star Kamilla Cardoso / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball finished the regular season undefeated once more, putting together the SEC's first-ever back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. However, the final game was one of the toughest of the year for the Gamecocks.

On Senior Day, "minimal" team rules infractions resulted in a strange starting lineup. MiLaysia Fulwiley started in place of Raven Johnson, and Sania Feagin started at the 4 despite Coach Staley saying that Chloe Kitts would start and implying that Sakima Walker might start for Senior Day. It is unclear which players were disciplined, but Staley said after the game that the issue is now "behind us."

The Gamecocks got up early in front of another sold-out crowd, but a strong 2nd quarter from Jasmine Powell and Rickea Jackson put the Vols ahead. An 11-3 run for Carolina put Carolina back ahead heading into halftime as Te-Hina Paopao, Bree Hall, and Kamilla Cardoso scored all of the Gamecocks' points in the 2nd period.

The 3rd quarter mirrored the 2nd as Jackson carried the load for Kellie Harper's team. MiLaysia Fulwiley scored 8 points in the final 2:44 of the stanza, though, and Carolina took a 9-point lead into the 4th. USC wasn't particularly good in the final frame as they went almsot 5 minutes without a score to open the quarter. They were good enough, though, to hold on for the win.

Kamilla Cardoso led the way with 18 points and 14 rebounds as she played her Senior Day in front of her family who traveled in from Brazil for the game. One of the primary defenders on Jackson, Bree Hall had a nice day on defense (including a monster block) as the Gamecocks held Tennessee's star under 50% shooting.

9 Gamecocks played at least 13 minutes in the 76-68 victory, and South Carolina basketball will enter the SEC Tournament undefeated.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers. 76. 533. Final. 68. 534

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