South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from Vanderbilt win

South Carolina basketball avoided the post-LSU letdown and handled business against the Vanderbilt Commodores despite being at a tremendous rest disadvantage.
South Carolina basketball center Kamilla Cardoso
South Carolina basketball center Kamilla Cardoso / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley has her team undefeated (the last team in the country that can make that claim), and the Gamecocks' latest victim was the Vanderbilt Commodores.

The SEC schedule makers weren't particularly friendly to the Gamecocks as Carolina had to play a Thursday road game before a Sunday home game (a hard turnaround), and they have to do it two more times in February. In contrast, Vanderbilt hadn't played since last Sunday. Even with the fatigue disparity, USC managed to pour in 91 points against the 'Dores to secure a comfortable win.

Kamilla Cardoso (with a USC career-high 23 points), Raven Johnson (10 points, 7-0 assist-turnover ratio, and Ashlyn Watkins (11 points on 5-6 shooting, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks) led the way, but Dawn Staley's team received contributions from all over the roster in this one.

Despite Te-Hina Paopao and MiLaysia Fulwiley having off shooting nights, both players contributed in other ways as Paopao had 4 assists and played solid defense, while Fulwiley logged 3 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal. Bree Hall was very solid across the board.

The Gamecock reserves struggled on defense (other than Watkins), and it led to Vanderbilt scoring 25 points in the 4th quarter, a number that won't please Coach Staley. However, as the calendar drifts ever closer to March, the Gamecocks were able to rest their starters for most of the final period and get some valuable experience for their rotation players on the bench.

Even with the defensive lapses late in the game and the lack of rest, USC cruised to a comfortable margin on victory.

537. South Carolina Basketball vs. Vanderbilt Commodores. 91. 533. Final. 74