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Gamecocks Take Out No. 21/21 Texas A&M on the Road
Women's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks Take Out No. 21/21 Texas A&M on the Road

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Juniors Te’a Cooper and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan dominated as No. 23/- South Carolina women’s basketball defeated No. 21/21 Texas A&M 60-57 on the road Thursday night. The Gamecocks (9-4) outscored the Aggies 32-20 in the second half, including a 21-10 advantage in the third quarter, and made plays down the stretch to seal a win in their SEC opener for the sixth time in as many seasons.  
Cooper scored 24 points on 7-of-18 from the floor, including 12 in the third quarter and two free throws with six seconds left to seal the victory. The junior guard also notched career highs in rebounds and assists with seven and six, respectively, while hitting 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan set a new career high in rebounds with 16, while blocking a career-high six shots all while scoring 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting in 32 minutes. 
The fourth quarter saw four different Gamecocks score, but none bigger than the free throws that Cooper’s free throws to put the Gamecocks up by three with six seconds to play. In the final sequence, the South Carolina defense locked in and stopped the Aggies, holding them to just two points in the final four minutes and 40 seconds. Sophomore LeLe Grissett came up with the huge defensive rebound on a missed Chennedy Carter free throw with eight seconds to play and the Gamecocks clinging to a one-point advantage.
The Gamecocks led after three quarters, but the Aggies stormed into the fourth, capitalizing on three straight Carolina turnovers to go up 53-49. Herbert Harrigan stemmed the tide with a putback, then fully controlled the defensive glass as the defensive forced tough shots on the other end. 
Cooper knotted the game with a drive, and Destanni Henderson delivered a big 3 at 5:09 that gave the Gamecocks the lead for good. Tyasha Harris then hit a clutch bucket with the shot clock running low, sinking a right-handed layup with 1:36 to go to give South Carolina a 58-55 advantage. The defense locked down the Aggies in the final stretch to deliver the win.
The game began with an outstanding play from Cooper, scoring a bucket through a foul just four seconds in to the game to take the early lead. Texas A&M took control in the first quarter, using a 7-0 run to take back the lead for the rest of the quarter and hold a 15-8 lead after the first 10 minutes of action. 
The Gamecocks came within three points in the second quarter, led by Cooper who contributed on eight-straight points. She sank two buckets, and assisted on two more, which included a no-look pass to Bianca Cuevas-Moore. Texas A&M scored the final six points of the opening half to build its lead back up to the largest of the game at that point at 37-28. 
The third quarter was no different for Cooper, who upped her scoring output to 12 points, including the first five during a 10-0 run to help the Gamecocks take a 38-37 lead. Herbert Harrigan had an outstanding quarter, blocking four shots, tying her career high for a game, and sinking a few big shots to help the Gamecocks outscore the Aggies 21-11 and build a 49-48 lead heading into the fourth quarter where South Carolina was able to come up big and take home the win. 
Herbert Harrigan registered four blocks during the third quarter, matching her career high for an entire game in a six minute and 20 second stretch in which the Gamecocks outscored the Aggies 15-6. 
“It’s huge,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “We don’t win here for some reason. I guess it’s just with being in the SEC and on the road. Anytime you can get a road win in the SEC, it’s a bonus.”
Carolina tied a season-high with 49 rebounds in the win, including 12 on the offensive glass that led to 10 second chance points.  

  • The Gamecocks starting lineup of Henderson, Cooper, Harris, Herbert Harrigan and Alexis Jennings is the third straight game with the same starting lineup. 
  • Cooper’s 24 points marks the third time a Gamecock has scored at least 24 this season (Cooper twice, Harris once).
  • South Carolina is now 3-0 this season when Herbert Harrigan registers at least four blocks.
  • Herbert Harrigan registered her second career double-double in the win, her first coming in a win against Purdue (Dec. 16). 
  • Cooper connected on her final nine free throws in the game, finishing 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. 
  • The ranked win over Texas A&M is the first ranked win since the Gamecocks defeated No. 19/18 Georgia 71-49 in the 2018 SEC Tournament. 

The Gamecocks (9-4) will return home on Sun., Jan. 6 to take on Alabama at noon on ESPNU. The Gamecocks then take on Florida at Colonial Life Arena on Jan. 10, at 7:00 p.m.