Gamecocks Roll in Exhibition vs. Rutgers
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball showed off a young and efficient offense in a 110-55 exhibition game win over Rutgers on Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks stormed out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back. Sophomore Chloe Kitts finished with a double-double (10 pts/10 rebs) while senior Kamilla Cardoso paced the offense with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
The South Carolina offense capitalized on an infusion of outside shooters with five different Gamecocks hitting at least one and freshman MiLaysia Fulwiley draining four. The outside shooting was hot early with the team hitting46.2 percent (6-of-13) from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes.
Even with the outside barrage, the Gamecocks won the inside battle with 62 of its 100 points coming in the paint, compared to just 26 for Rutgers.
Defensively, South Carolina was solid in the first half, allowing the Scarlet Knights just 14 points on 20.0 percent shooting (6-of-3) and forcing 18 turnovers before the break. Ashlyn Watkins finished the game with four blocks, and Kitts added three to her double-double stat line.
Sophomore point guard Raven Johnson ran the offense with nine assists to go with her seven points and four steals in just over 20 minutes on the court. The Gamecocks assisted on 32 of their 43 made field goals (74.4 percent). All 11 Gamecocks saw time on Sunday with 10 handing out at least one assist. Fulwiley’s five followed Johnson and were just ahead of Cardoso’s four.
After seeing all five starters from last season’s NCAA Final Four team graduate, head coach Dawn Staley chose a veteran unit to open play in the exhibition with Cardoso joined by Sania Feagin in the frontcourt and guards Bree Hall, Johnson and Te-Hina Paopao. The group was locked in to spark the big early lead.
Rutgers and South Carolina were granted a waiver by the NCAA to play this exhibition game in honor of Nikki McCray-Penson, who was an assistant coach on both teams and passed away this summer. McCray-Penson was at South Carolina for Staley’s first nine seasons (2008-09 through 2016-17) and was part of the program’s 2017 National Championship coaching staff. After spending a few seasons as a head coach, McCray-Penson returned to an assistant role after her second battle with breast cancer, joining the Rutgers staff for the 2022-23 season and was with the program at the time of her passing.
The Gamecocks will officially open the 2023-24 season in an historic way, playing #10/10 Notre Dame in Paris, France, on Nov. 6. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN with a 1 p.m. ET tipoff. South Carolina’s regular-season schedule includes 11 games against teams ranked in at least one of the two national polls, including five games in the season’s first five weeks.
For more information on 2023-24 women’s basketball season tickets, which start at $55, visit https://thegamecockclub.com/wbb/. To purchase season tickets, visit https://am.ticketmaster.com/gamecocks/virtual-venue/V0IyNA==. To purchase a Community Supporter ticket to donate to underrepresented communities in the Columbia area, visit https://fevo.me/wb24communitysupporter.
Continue to check GamecocksOnline.com and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on South Carolina women’s basketball.