South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

South Carolina basketball remains undefeated at 14-0 and 2-0 in SEC play after beating the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
South Carolina basketball wing Bree Hall
South Carolina basketball wing Bree Hall / G Fiume/GettyImages
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 1: Kamilla Cardoso

The Gamecocks' All-American candidate played like one on Sunday. Kamilla Cardoso logged her 8th double-double of the season and tied her career-high with 6 assists. She got to her spot in the post whenever she wanted, but some missed opportunities on layups and free throws kept her scoring total lower than it felt. Her 13 points and 14 rebounds, though, were second and first on the team, respectively.

The Mississippi State post players could get nothing going against Cardoso, either. The starting frontcourt of Jessika Carter, Erynn Barnum, and Debreasha Powe shot 5-27 from the field and had fewer rebounds (11 to 14) than Cardoso had by herself.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 2: The "Other Starters"

Raven Johnson didn't have her best game of the year against Mississippi State, but her teammates picked up some of the slack. It's already been mentioned that Kamilla Cardoso was very good on Sunday, but the Gamecocks who did not win SEC awards last season (Freshman All-SEC for Johnson, SEC 6th Woman of the Year for Cardoso) played really well in this game.

Te-Hina Paopao did Te-Hina Paopao things, shooting an efficient 5-9 from the field (including 2-4 from outside) and helping out as a distributor (5 assists) when Johnson didn't have her best stuff. Bree Hall shot 6-9 (3-4) and led the team with 15 points; she also had 0 fouls and 0 turnovers while adding 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 assist. In 16 minutes, Chloe Kitts had 12 points on 50% shooting and made both of her free throw attempts.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Thumbs Up 3: Ashlyn Watkins

She gets a thumbs up almost every game, but Ashlyn Watkins deserves another one for her showing against Mississippi State. If the Bulldogs struggled against Kamilla Cardoso's defense, they absolutely floundered against Watkins' efforts.

For the game, she managed 3 blocks, 10 rebounds, and 1 steal off the bench, and she would have had a couple more swats but was called for some bogus fouls that took the rejections out of the box score.