South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from thrilling win on the Bayou

3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from South Carolina basketball's tight win over the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge.

South Carolina basketball frontcourt members Kamilla Cardoso, Chloe Kitts, and Bree Hall after the final buzzer against LSU.
South Carolina basketball frontcourt members Kamilla Cardoso, Chloe Kitts, and Bree Hall after the final buzzer against LSU. / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball entered Thursday night's College GameDay game of the week against LSU as the nation's only undefeated team. They exited the game as the nation's only undefeated team. After a first half that had most Gamecock fans fearing the worst, USC bounced back and won 76-70 on the Bayou.

The first half was ugly, ugly, ugly for the visiting Gamecocks. Outside of a hot start from Chloe Kitts (10 points early) and a late stretch from MiLaysia Fulwiley (8 points in 5 minutes near the end of the half), the Carolina offense was bad in the opening 20 minutes.

USC was even worse on the boards as LSU dominated the rebounding battle early, leading by 7 in that category heading into the intermission, including 10 rebounds on the offensive end of the court. Kamilla Cardoso was virtually non-existent, and she and her teammates received a tongue-lashing from their head coach.

It worked.

The second half was much different as Cardoso as the rest of the Gamecocks won the fight on the glass by so much that they finished the game with 2 more rebounds than LSU. The extra energy affected their defense, as well, as the Gamecock D held the Tigers to just 29 points after haltime.

The 1000th win in program history came about after some clutch play by the USC backcourt. Te-Hina Paopao, Bree Hall, and Raven Johnson each scored some critical buckets down the stretch (including 3 3-pointers from Paopao and Hall in the closing minutes), and the best team in college basketball wound up winning the game even without their A+ effort.

South Carolina Basketball vs. LSU Tigers. 70. 529. Final. 76. 533

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