South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from win over Georgia

South Carolina basketball beat Georgia by 14 points on Sunday, but despite the final score, it took a come-from-behind effort to move USC to 25-0.

South Carolina basketball center Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball center Kamilla Cardoso / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 1: Kamilla Cardoso

Coming in as no surprise, Kamilla Cardoso is an easy choice as a "Thumbs Up" from this game. She led the Gamecocks with 16 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists (tied with MiLaysia Fulwiley), 3 steals (tied with MiLaysia Fulwiley), and 3 blocks (tied with Ashlyn Watkins).

She was also the only player to have much success against Javyn Nicholson as the Bulldog star went off for 27 points and 12 rebounds.

Cardoso played with the aggression and rebounding tenacity that Dawn Staley has been asking to see from her 6'7" Brazilian post player. If she continues playing like this, a third national championship is a realistic goal for this team.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 2: Bang, Bang (x5) from Paopao

South Carolina basketball fans are glad they officially can say "Te-Hina Paopao is back." After 7 straight games with 2 or fewer 3-pointers made, Paopao now has made 5 long balls in two of her last three games. She had scored 15 or more points just three times all year before those two games.

Against Georgia, she knocked down her 5 outside shots (5-11), and she looked confident doing so. As the team's best perimeter shooter (and one of the best in the country), her ability to make shots prevents opponents from packing the paint, so Coach Staley is counting on her prize transfer to play her role well to push her team to a deep run this March.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 3: The Adjustment

After trailing at halftime and looking pretty lethargic defending the paint for much of the 1st half, the Gamecocks adjusted during the intermission. More aggressive post offense from Kamilla Cardoso and Chloe Kitts carried the team on one end of the floor, while Cardoso and Ashlyn Watkins locked things down on the other end.

The Carolina guards held onto the ball better in the 2nd half, as well. Lead ballhandlers Raven Johnson, Te-Hina Paopao, and MiLaysia Fulwiley combined for just 3 turnovers in 45 total minutes after the halftime break.