South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from SEC Tournament win over Texas A&M

South Carolina basketball knocked off Texas A&M despite playing a very sloppy game. They will play Tennessee in the SEC Tournament semifinals on Saturday.
South Carolina basketball post player Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball post player Kamilla Cardoso / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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South Carolina basketball fans filled up Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville to watch their favorite team strive for their 8th SEC Tournament title in the last 10 years.

Despite a very sloppy game, the Gamecocks have taken the first step in making that happen by knocking off Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals 79-68.

Facing off with the 9th-seeded Aggies, South Carolina turned the ball over 24 times (a season-high), had 17 personal fouls (3rd-worst against an SEC opponent this year), surrendered 16 offensive rebounds (2nd-worst all season), and had just 4 stocks (1 steal was a season-low; 3 blocks was 2nd-lowest total this year).

Even so, the Gamecocks beat the Aggies by double-digits to advance to the semifinal for a date with the Tennessee Volunteers.

Kamilla Cardoso led the team in scoring with 17 points, but freshman Tessa Johnson had a big-time game off the bench. She scored 13 points on just 5 shot attempts as she canned 6 free throws, knocked down a 3-pointer, and blocked her first career shot.

No one else had a great game, but the Gamecocks got timely contributions from other players to hold on to the win.

A&M's Aicha Coulibaly scored a game-high 32, but 25 of them came in the last 14 minutes when the game was pretty much out of reach.

Coach Dawn Staley was not happy with her team's performance. After the game, she said that if her team were to smell themselves "it wouldn't smell too good," indicating what she thought of the turnovers and poor decisions with the ball from her team.

The Gamecocks will need to tighten things up to beat Tennessee in the semis or (most likely) LSU in the finals of the SEC Tournament. However, winning comfortably after playing so poorly in many ways speaks to how good this South Carolina basketball team truly is.

They will face off with Tennessee at 4:30 on Friday, and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

533. Final. 68. 535. South Carolina Basketball vs. Texas A&M Aggies. 79