South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from SEC Tournament win over Tennessee

South Carolina basketball beat the Tennessee Volunteers in a classic game in Greenville to advance to the SEC Tournament final.

Kamilla Cardoso celebrating with her South Carolina basketball teammates after her game-winning shot.
Kamilla Cardoso celebrating with her South Carolina basketball teammates after her game-winning shot. / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Thumbs Down 1: Slow Finish

After the Gamecocks' strong start, Tennessee outscored Carolina 61-36 until the final second of the game. They also outrebounded USC in the final 3 quarters. Those stats are, quite frankly, unacceptable for South Carolina basketball.

Rickea Jackson and Jewel Spear took over at times, and the Gamecocks allowed the Vols too many open jumpers, and when they did defend tightly, they fouled the opponents in orange far too often, sending them to the line for 24 free throw attempts.

Thankfully the last second played out like it did, or else South Carolina's quests for an SEC Tournament title and an undefeated season would have dashed.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Thumbs Down 2: All-SEC Struggles

Te-Hina Paopao and Ashlyn Watkins both made the All-SEC 2nd team. However, both players struggled a bit against Tennessee.

Paopao had just 3 points after shooting 1-8, and Watkins had just 2 more points (6) than fouls (4).

Both players found some other ways to contribute, though. Paopao dished out 3 assists, and Watkins had 3 stocks (2 steals and 1 block), and 4 of her 5 rebounds came on the offensive end of the floor.

Gamecock fans can be confident that both Paopao and Watkins will bounce back as the madness of March continues.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Thumbs Down 3: Shooting Touch

Carolina did not shoot the ball against Tennessee.

Shots in the paint were fine as they shot over 60% on rim attempts, but 3-point jumpers (4-15) and free throws (10-15) were a bit of a struggle.

With a 26.7% day from outside and 66.7% showing from the charity stripe, the Gamecocks did not perform as well as they are accustomed to as shooters. They left plenty of points on the floor with those misses, but the fact they were still able to win without those points tells the story of just how good Carolina truly is.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commitment earns even more awards. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commitment earns even more awards. dark