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Feb. 12, 2015

Box Score | Printable Box Score Get Acrobat Reader | Photo Gallery 1 media-icon-photogallery.gif | Photo Gallery 2 media-icon-photogallery.gif

Team 1st 2nd Total
LSU (14-4, 8-4 SEC) 20 42 62
#1/2 S. Carolina (23-1, 11-0 SEC) 48 38 86
Coach Staley
Khadijah Sessions & A’ja Wilson

COLUMBIA, S.C.– No. 1/2 South Carolina shot 63.3 percent in the first half to build a lead LSU could not overcome in an 86-62 win Thursday night at Colonial Life Arena. A’ja Wilson scored a game- and career-high 26 points to pace the Gamecocks (23-1, 11-0 SEC) while Aleighsa Welch was tops on the glass for the third-straight game with nine rebounds and dished out a career-high tying five assists.

Trailing 4-6 early, South Carolina made a move to create some separation by scoring the next nine points. After Welch fed Elem Ibiam on the block from the top of the lane to get things going, both teams went quiet offensively for a handful of trips down the court. The Gamecocks found the basket again four possessions later, this time with Welch setting up Khadijah Sessions on the left wing for a 3. After a missed LSU shot, Tiffany Mitchell grabbed the rebound and hit Sessions in stride with a quick outlet pass for an easy bucket. Mitchell drained a jumper on the next possession to cap the run and put the Gamecocks up 13-6 at the 14:31 mark.

After Raigyne Moncrief’s jumper drew the Lady Tigers to within three at 15-12 with 11 minutes left in the first half, the Gamecocks mounted another run, this time outscoring LSU 16-4 over the next three minutes in a stretch that featured seven straight South Carolina baskets. Wilson muscled up a shot in the paint to start the scoring and swatted the Lady Tigers’ next shot. Next, Bianca Cuevas and Mitchell worked the ball around the perimeter to find Sessions in the left corner for her second 3 of the night. Mitchell followed with a jumper in the lane, and the Gamecocks went back to Wilson for back-to-back three-point play opportunities with the second created by a Welch steal. Wilson missed the free throw on her second and-1, but Welch hustled deep into the corner to keep the play alive. The effort led to a Cuevas baseline drive and layup to keep the streak going. Cuevas took the ball away from the Lady Tigers on the other end and pushed it up to Sessions for a layup, prompting LSU to call a time out after falling behind 29-14.

South Carolina continued to push ahead and went to the locker room with a 48-20 lead after hitting 19-of-30 first-half shots (63.3 percent).

Led by Anne Pedersen and Danielle Ballard out of the locker room, LSU outscored the Gamecocks by 10 in the first eight minutes of the half to pull within 18 at 56-38. Despite cooling from the floor, South Carolina still managed to maintain a cushion of at least 18 in the second half.

On her way to a new career high, Wilson went 11-of-15 from the free throw line, the most made free throws in her career. The freshman also pulled down eight rebounds, matching Alaina Coates’ total. Sessions matched her season high with 12 points, and Mitchell poured in 11. Welch impacted nearly every column on the box score, netting six points, grabbing nine rebounds, and dishing out a career-high five assists.


Wilson, Mitchell, Sessions and Cuevas combined to hit seven straight shots in a 16-4 first-half run that put the Gamecocks ahead for good.


The Gamecocks converted 20 LSU turnovers into 29 points. The total is South Carolina’s most points off turnovers in SEC play this season.


  • The Gamecocks limited LSU to just one made 3 in the game for the second time this season. It marks the fourth time this season that South Carolina has held its opponent to one made 3.
  • Led by A’ja Wilson’s career-high 26 points, the Gamecocks outscored the Lady Tigers’ bench 49-4.
  • Tonight’s attendance of 12,342 is the eighth crowd of 10,000 or more in 11 home contests this season.

TWEET OF THE GAME South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley
On A’ja Wilson’s performance tonight…
I think we are really harping on how people are going to play her physical. I want A’ja Wilson to play. I want her to use the tools in her toolbox night-in and night-out whether someone is physical or not. I think that she is making the adjustment to do that. I’m really proud of the effort that she put out there on the floor and (see her) continue to get better.


The Gamecocks continue conference play at Colonial Life Arena on Sunday with a noon tip vs. Vanderbilt. ESPNU is set to broadcast the game.