South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from Gamecocks' NCAA Tournament win over Presbyterian

South Carolina basketball handled the Presbyterian Blue Hose in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament, beating them by 52 points in Colonial Life Arena.

South Carolina basketball forward Sania Feagin
South Carolina basketball forward Sania Feagin / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball earned the top seed in the 2023-2024 NCAA Tournament, and that led them to a matchup with in-state foe Presbyterian College for the first round of the Big Dance. The Gamecocks beat the Blue Hose handily in a regular season matchup earlier this season, and Friday's result wasn't any different.

Even without Kamilla Cardoso (serving a one-game suspension for her role in the SEC Tournament Championship Game dust-up vs. LSU) and Bree Hall (inactive for undisclosed "precautionary" reasons), the Gamecocks had an impressive showing in the all-Palmetto State tournament game.

Raven Johnson, Te-Hina Paopao, Tessa Johnson, Sania Feagin, and Ashlyn Watkins drew starting duties with the two usual starters out, but all 8 active Gamecocks played between 16 minutes and 32 minutes.

Chloe Kitts led all scorers (and rebounders) off the bench, picking up a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double in which she didn't miss a shot in the entire game. MiLaysia Fulwiley added 17 points (including 5 3-pointers) in just 21 minutes, and Te-Hina Paopao cashed in 4 long balls en route to 18 points. Sania Feagin logged her first career double-double, as well.

There were some stretches of less-than-crisp play from the Gamecocks, especially in the 2nd quarter, but overall, it was a dominant effort from Dawn Staley's South Carolina basketball squad in the opening round of this year's March Madness. PC scored just 2 points in the 4th quarter and finished the game with the same number of turnovers (17) as shots made.

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The Gamecocks will play the North Carolina Tar Heels (another regular season rematch) on Sunday.