South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley brought the country's only undefeated team in front of a sold-out home crowd on Sunday to take on the SEC's 2nd place team. Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and the Ole Miss Rebels came to Columbia with thoughts of an upset on their minds.
Chloe Kitts returned to action in this one after missing the Auburn game with an illness, but she came off the bench following Ashlyn Watkins' career game in the road victory.
The game started off with a hideous first quarter. Whistle-happy officials, too many turnovers, and less-than-elite shooting made the opening 10 minutes difficult to watch, but the game became much more aesthetically pleasing after halftime, especially for Gamecock fans.
Ashlyn Watkins had a good 1st half before leaving the game with foul trouble, and MiLaysia Fulwiley was all over the court, but Carolina was unable to pull away thanks to the ugly play early.
After leading by just 1 point with 3 minutes left in the 1st half, the Gamecocks outscored the Rebs by 28 points the rest of the way.
The Gamecocks were able to pull away behind a big 3rd quarter from Kamilla Cardoso (10 points, 1 rebound, and 2 steals in just 6 minutes), and Ashlyn Watkins and MiLaysia Fulwiley continued their contributions.
It also is worth noting that Cardoso will be away from the team next week as she will be playing with the Brazilian national team in Olympic qualifiers. The nice 2nd half should provide her with some offensive momentum heading into the international competition.