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March 4, 2011

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – South Carolina suffered a 66-34 loss to Georgia in the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Gamecocks (17-14) had a hard time getting inside on the Lady Bulldog (21-9) defense, and jump shots were not falling. Junior guard Markeshia Grant was the lone Gamecock in double figures with 13 points to go with her game-high six rebounds.

The Gamecock offense struggled right out of the gate, and the fresher Lady Bulldogs playing their first game of the tournament had a 7-0 lead before Ashley Bruner finally put South Carolina on the board with a move on the right block. An Ieasia Walker 3-pointer seemed to have righted the ship, cutting the Georgia lead to 9-5, but another cold spell struck. Georgia secured its defensive rebounding, limiting the Gamecocks to one shot and rattled off 10 points to take a 19-5 lead midway through the period.

Jewel May interrupted the string with a basket from the left block, and Grant kicked off her crusade to keep the game close with a jumper from the right elbow. Her 10 points in the half were not enough to overcome 10 turnovers and 25.9 percent field goal shooting, though, and Georgia took a 33-19 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The second half was more of the same as the Gamecocks had a hard time hitting jump shots, and the Lady Bulldogs pounded the ball inside to create easier opportunities. Scrambling to come from behind, South Carolina had to turn to the 3-point shot, but no one could get hot from behind the arc.

The Gamecocks will wait for the announcement of the postseason tournament fields, which will occur on Mon., March 14.