Jan. 4, 2015
Box Score | Printable Box Score
|SCORE BY PERIODS|
|#1/1 South Carolina||37||38||75|
|Coach Staley and Tiffany Mitchell|
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 1/1 South Carolina junior Tiffany Mitchell scored six points in the opening four minutes of each half to spur the Gamecocks to a 75-51 win at LSU Sunday afternoon. Freshman A’ja Wilson posted her third-straight double-double with 21 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. South Carolina (14-0, 2-0 SEC) shot the ball well – 50.9 percent from the field – while the defense held the Lady Tigers (7-7, 1-1 SEC) under 30 percent shooting for much of the game.
The Gamecocks worked from the outside in as LSU ceded open 3s to focus on South Carolina’s post players. Mitchell wasted little time dialing in her shot, missing her first attempt but going back to the same spot on the next possession to bury the first of back-to-back 3s that put South Carolina up 8-2 within the first four minutes. The Lady Tigers pulled within a basket a 10-8 with 12:07 to go in the half after both Alaina Coates and Khadijah Sessions went to the Gamecock bench with two fouls. South Carolina responded by finding Aleighsa Welch underneath for a bucket and Wilson turning a steal into an easy layup for a 14-8 margin less than a minute later.
Every time LSU looked to narrow the margin again, the Gamecocks had the answer, often in the form of a 3 as Bianca Cuevas, Tina Roy and Tiffany Davis each stopped Lady Tiger runs with an outside shot. LSU scored after Davis’ bucket, but Elem Ibiam began the inside attack with a basket from the right block to put the Gamecocks up by nine, 27-18. After an Ibiam defensive rebound, Olivia Gaines hit a long jumper from the left baseline to establish the first double-digit lead of the game.
From there, Wilson began to assert herself on both ends of the floor, cleaning up the defensive glass and making room inside to score. Her drive through the lane made it a 31-18 game with 2:20 to play. LSU scored on its next two possessions to get within nine, only to see Wilson hit from the left block then pulled down another rebound that led to a 3-pointer from Roy. Wilson added a free throw to finish off the 6-0 run that closed the half and sent the Gamecocks into the locker room with a 37-22 advantage.
Mitchell opened the second half much like the first in terms of points, scoring six in the first four minutes of the period. In the second half, she went on the move, though, turning a pair of steals into layups and then driving the baseline for another bucket. Her 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock put the Gamecocks up 51-25, and South Carolina’s defense kept the Lady Tigers from mounting any kind of run.
Wilson was 7-of-11 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Mitchell joined Wilson in double figures, netting 17 points. Five Gamecocks connected from 3-point range. In a homecoming game, Roy, a Kaplan, La., native, dished out a game-high four assists. South Carolina recorded an assist on 17 of 28 baskets while limiting the Lady Tigers to just four.
After LSU cut the Gamecock lead to nine with 1:36 to play in the first half, South Carolina scored six unanswered points in the final 90 seconds of the period to push the advantage back into double digits for the remainder of the game.
Led by Wilson, the South Carolina bench came up big, scoring 47 of today’s 75 points.
- LSU scored on consecutive possessions just twice in the first half.
- A’ja Wilson recorded her third-straight double-double with 21 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Wilson owns four double-doubles this season.
- The Gamecocks have won 14-straight contests for the first time in program history.
TWEETS OF THE GAME
@dawnstaley has me so excited about @GamecockWBB that I’m watching the LSU game over the NFL playoffs
— Adam Piper (@adampiper) January 4, 2015
Tiffany Mitchell is in a league of her own. #SCvsLSU @GamecockWBB
— Jason G. Brown (@JGerardBrown) January 4, 2015
UP NEXT South Carolina closes out its two-game road swing at Alabama on Thu., Jan. 8, before coming back to Colonial Life Arena for a 1 p.m. tipoff against #11/11 Kentucky on Sun., Jan. 11.