Nov. 11, 2009
|Valerie Nainima and Kelsey Bone
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina shook off early jitters to cruise to a 94-38 victory over Augusta State in women’s basketball exhibition action at Colonial Life Arena Wednesday night. The Gamecocks held a 56-31 advantage on the glass and shot 45.9 percent from the field. Freshman Kelsey Bone and junior Valerie Nainima paced the offense with 18 points apiece.
Shooting was tight early, and the score was as well with the Lady Jaguars trailing just 17-12 with nine minutes left in the first half. Freshman Ashley Bruner hit back-to-back buckets from the left block to push the Gamecock lead to 21-12, and South Carolina never looked back. Behind five 3-pointers from Nainima, including three straight to open the surge and one just before the buzzer, and a series of inside buckets from Jewel May, the Gamecocks took a 47-20 lead into the locker room at halftime.
South Carolina put together several extended scoring runs in the second half as well, capitalizing on transition baskets and a significant height advantage inside. The Lady Jaguars struggled with the Gamecocks’ aggressive defense in the second stanza, committing 21 turnovers in the final 20 minutes of the game.
The Gamecocks open the season on Mon., Nov. 16, at Charlotte then travel to archrival Clemson on Thu., Nov. 19, before returning to Colonial Life Arena to face Penn State on Sun., Nov. 22, at 3 p.m.