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 vs. LSU Tigers
Thumbs Down 1: 1st Half Rebounding

Kamilla Cardoso was not what she needed to be in the 1st half. Poor effort and lack of fight were glaring as Angel Reese, Aneesah Morrow, and Aalyah Del Rosario dominated the paint early with 23 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the 1st half. Chloe Kitts battled but was not nearly as big as those players.

Ashlyn Watkins only played 3 minutes in the 1st half due to foul trouble and didn't log any other stats. Sania Feagin scored 4 points but struggled on defense and had 2 fouls and a bad turnover.

Thankfully for South Carolina basketball fans, the Gamecocks turned things around in the 2nd half and came back for the win, but the poor effort inside in the 1st half was almost too much to overcome.

South Carolina Basketball vs. LSU Tigers
Thumbs Down 2: Shooting Struggles from the Team's Best

Te-Hina Paopao is the best shooter on Dawn Staley's team. However, she really struggled for most of the game as a scorer before a nice finish. After starting 1-9, her final shooting stats saw her make just 4-12 shots from the floor and just 2-7 from outside. Bree Hall had a really good finish, but she started the game 1-5. The Gamecocks overcame the slow start, though, and no one should expect Paopao or Hall to keep shooting like they did in the early portions of this game.

South Carolina Basketball vs. LSU Tigers
Thumbs Down 3: Post Defense

Very related to the poor rebounding effort in the 1st half of the game, the Gamecocks were bad defending the paint early, as well. They weren't great later, but the improvement was enough. For the game, LSU shot 18-29 on layup attempts and scored 40 points in the paint. Ashlyn Watkins was really good against Aneesah Morrow in the 2nd half, but other than her efforts, the Gamecocks can't be satisfied with how well they defended the reigning national champs down low.

dark. Next. South Carolina Basketball: LSU's Kim Mulkey says Gamecocks are not rivals to Tigers. South Carolina Basketball: LSU's Kim Mulkey says Gamecocks are not rivals to Tigers