South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from win over 2nd place Ole Miss

South Carolina basketball knocked off the 2nd place Ole Miss Rebels to remain undefeated.
South Carolina basketball forward Ashlyn Watkins
South Carolina basketball forward Ashlyn Watkins / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 1: Offensive Distribution

6 Gamecocks scored in double-figures on Sunday afternoon as Kamilla Cardoso (17), MiLaysia Fulwiley (14), Ashlyn Watkins (11), Te-Hina Paopao (11), Sania Feagin (10), and Bree Hall (10) split the scoring duties fairly evenly. Watkins and Fulwiley carried the load in the 1st quarter, Paopao led scorers in the 2nd, Cardoso owned the 3rd, and the 4th period was well-rounded.

5 players shot the ball at least 5 times, and 6 players took at least 4 free throws, indicating that scoring attempts were well-distributed, too. One of the players who did not shoot 5 times was point guard Raven Johnson who contributed with 6 assists.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 2: The Little Things

One of the hallmarks of Dawn Staley's teams has been that they do the "little things" well. South Carolina perennially is among the country's leaders in rebounding, stocks (steals and blocks), and opponent's field goal percentage.

On Sunday, they did some of the little things well again. The Gamecocks had more stocks than fouls (11 steals, 7 blocks, and 17 fouls), they had almost twice as many assists (18) as turnovers (10), and they played good defense (gave up just 33.9%/28.6% shooting).

The biggest of the little things that made the difference against Ole Miss were the ways the Gamecocks forced turnovers on defense and got to the free throw line on offense. Carolina forced 21 turnovers on 73 possessions (almost 30% of Rebel possessions ended with the Gamecocks taking the ball away), and they shot a remarkable 42 free throws. The percentage wasn't great (just 64%), but it is hard to lose a game in which your team shoots 42 foul shots and takes the ball away over 20 times.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Thumbs Up 3: Protecting the Basketball

Dawn Staley's group took care of the basketball against Ole Miss, only turning the ball over 10 times. That number sounds even better when one realizes that only 4 of them were live ball turnovers and that the Rebels only scored 2 points off of turnovers for the game.

With turnovers being an issue much of this season, South Carolina basketball fans have to be happy with the low number against an aggressive Coach Yo-led Ole Miss squad.