South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks win SEC Tournament championship after ugly melee

South Carolina basketball wins the SEC Tournament championship for the 8th time in 10 years after beating the LSU Tigers.

South Carolina basketball guard MiLaysia Fulwiley
South Carolina basketball guard MiLaysia Fulwiley / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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South Carolina Basketball vs. LSU Tigers
Stats, Scoring, and Observations

South Carolina basketball won a physical contest against the LSU Tigers in the SEC Tournament championship game. Despite an ugly late-game incident, USC held on to win 79-72.

Here are the stats from the game:

STATS

LSU

Points

Leader: Aneesah Morrow with 19

Rebounds

Leader: Angel Reese with 13

Assists

Leader: Hailey Van Lith with 3

Steals

Leader: Aneesah Morrow with 4

Blocks

Leader: Hailey Van Lith with 2

Team

The Tigers shot 37.3%/42.9%/80% and had 17 turnovers

South Carolina

Points

Leader: MiLaysia Fulwiley with 24

Rebounds

Leader: Kamilla Cardoso and Ashlyn Watkins each with 6

Assists

Leader: Raven Johnson and Te-Hina Paopao each with 5

Steals

Leader: Three players each with 2

Blocks

Leader: Ashlyn Watkins with 5

Team

The Gamecocks shot 43.1%/35%/84.2% and had 13 turnovers

BOX SCORE

OBSERVATIONS

  • Starters: Raven Johnson-Te-Hina Paopao-Bree Hall-Chloe Kitts-Kamilla Cardoso
  • LSU's top-2 point guards were not in the starting lineup; MiKaylah Williams has missed time with a foot/ankle injury and was available off the bench in this game; Last-Tear Poa had a nasty-looking concussion on Saturday and was unavailable.
  • The Gamecocks looked out of sorts early as they had 3 turnovers and 6 missed shots in the game's first 5 1/2 minutes. LSU looked crisp on offense and was playing aggressive defense.
  • As the Gamecocks settled in, it was their spark plug (MiLaysia Fulwiley) and their best two players (Kamilla Cardoso and Te-Hina Paopao) who led them to a lead.
  • LSU DOMINATED the glass in the 1st half, pulling down 22 rebounds compared to just 12 for Carolina.
  • A lot of sloppiness with the ball made the game pace choppy. There were 21 giveaways in the 1st half (13 for LSU, 8 for USC).
  • Aneesah Morrow had 11 points as the best player for LSU in the opening half. When she played outside, she was less dominant, though she made a 3-pointer. When she played dowl low with Angel Reese on the bench with foul trouble, she started rebounding and scoring in the paint. She also had 3 steals in the 1st half.
  • Kamilla Cardoso played really good defense early, but LSU worked hard to limit her impact as a scorer and rebounder.
  • USC's top-4 guards had 22 of the team's 36 points in the 1st half. They also chipped in 9 assists and 4 steals while turning the ball over just twice.
  • After halftime, Aneesah Morrow started dominating on the glass, as well. Her work inside also allowed her to get to the free throw line at will.
  • MiLaysia Fulwiley heated up faster than a microwave in the 3rd, scoring 10 points in 4 minutes to push her game total to 20 in 11 minutes.
  • The Gamecocks kept Kamilla Cardoso and Ashlyn Watkins off the floor for most of the 3rd as they both had 3 fouls. With rest and a foul to give, they were ready for the final stretch.
  • USC stayed ahead by improving their rebounding effort and
  • An ugly melee occurred with Carolina up by 7 with 2 minutes to go. A lot of players were ejected, but Kamilla Cardoso was ejected for "fighting" after shoving Flau'jae Johnson in response to a Johnson intentional foul on MiLaysia Fulwiley and shove on Ashlyn Watkins. She will be suspended for the first NCAA Tournament game.

South Carolina Basketball: Watch Kamilla Cardoso's buzzer-beater to beat Tennessee. South Carolina Basketball: Watch Kamilla Cardoso's buzzer-beater to beat Tennessee. dark. Next