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Dec. 7, 2014

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DURHAM, N.C. – Down by one with 10.9 seconds to play, No. 1/2 South Carolina got a steal from Olivia Gaines and a putback from A’ja Wilson with 1.8 seconds left to deliver a 51-50 victory over No. 9/8 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium Sunday afternoon. Asia Dozier led the Gamecocks (8-0) with 11 points, while Alaina Coates grabbed 10 rebounds. Wilson’s game-winner put her in double-digits with 10 points.

In the intense environment, the Gamecocks fell into a 7-2 hole before settling down. Elem Ibiam scored the first two South Carolina baskets, but overall Duke’s size made it difficult for the Gamecocks to feed and score in the post. Tenacious Gamecock defense kept Duke within range. In the last 10 minutes of the first half, Duke made just one shot and turned the ball over six times. The stretch included a run of 15-straight missed shots by the Blue Devils.

Down by two with the clock ticking down, the Gamecocks looked to hold the ball for the last shot of the first half. Rebecca Greenwell took the ball from Bianca Cuevas and her layup dropped in at the buzzer to give Duke a 21-17 lead at the break.

Out of the break, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams picked up her third foul, and the Gamecocks forced turnovers on the next two possessions as they scored the first seven points of the half to take their first lead of the game at 24-21.

After the teams traded baskets for a handful of trips down the court, Dozier made her presence felt, netting a fast break layup and draining a 3 from deep on the next possession. Wilson drove into the paint for a bucket, and a Dozier free throw gave the Gamecocks a 32-25 lead with 12 minutes on the clock.

Williams got the Blue Devils back into the game. The All-American reclaimed the lead for Duke, scoring the next five points to put the Blue Devils back on top 47-44 with just under three minutes remaining.

Coates hit a both ends of a 1-and-1 after a loose ball foul to close within two at 48-46. Then, the Gamecocks employed the full court press, forcing Duke to call a timeout. Aleighsa Welch’s defense helped forced a Duke turnover and gave South Carolina a shot to tie on the other end of the court, but Welch missed a runner in the lane.

Duke’s Azura Stevens missed from point-blank range, giving the Gamecocks another chance to level the score. Dozier set up in the corner, but couldn’t connect from 3-point range. A South Carolina foul put Greenwell on the line, and she drained the pair for two of her team-high 12 points to put the Blue Devils up by four with 42 seconds remaining.

After a relatively quiet afternoon, Tiffany Mitchell pump-faked a Duke defender to create an opening and buried a 3 to make it a one-point game. Duke struggled to inbound the ball after the shot. Greenwell got isolated on the sideline, and Gaines ripped the ball away and called timeout to give South Carolina the opportunity to set up for the win with 10.9 seconds left. Mitchell’s runner in the lane was off target, but Wilson was there for the game-winning basket.


Down by one, the Gamecocks poured on the pressure on Duke’s final inbound pass. Khadijah Sessions and Olivia Gaines combined to force the turnover to give South Carolina a chance to set up for the win.

KEY STAT South Carolina shot 56.0 percent in the second half after hitting just 21.4 percent in the first.


  • Today’s win was South Carolina’s first victory over a top-10 opponent on the road since a 64-60 win at then-No. 8 Tennessee on Feb. 2, 2012.
  • For the third-consecutive season, the Gamecocks have opened the season 8-0.
  • The Gamecocks and Blue Devils have met just twice all-time at Cameron Indoor. South Carolina has claimed both contests.


South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley

On having Olivia Gaines in late in the game…
“[Just like] I didn’t hesitate to put the ball in Tiffany Mitchell’s hands, I didn’t hesitate to call a timeout to get Olivia Gaines in the game because she makes things happen from a defensive standpoint. Her energy, she is a one-woman press herself. We say, `Go get the ball, Olivia,’ she finds a way to get the ball. And she did that for us today.”

The Gamecocks return to Colonial Life Arena for their final December home game on Sun., Dec. 14, at noon. SEC Network+ will provide coverage of the game vs. Savannah State through WatchESPN.