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Gamecocks Push Past East Carolina in Final Pre-SEC Tuneup
Women's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks Push Past East Carolina in Final Pre-SEC Tuneup

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Kamilla Cardoso had 12 points and 10 rebounds and the top-ranked South Carolina women blew Saturday’s game open in the second quarter to beat East Carolina 73-36.

Freshman MiLaysia Fulwiley added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Gamecocks (12-0) in their final test before jumping into Southeastern Conference play. Things didn’t go completely smoothly, notably with a cold-shooting start that included plenty of missed layups and a game’s worth of empty trips to the foul line.

Yet the defense overpowered the Pirates (7-4) and locked up ECU top scorer Danae McNeal early. Once shots started falling for South Carolina, the lead steadily grew against a team struggling to find much space to operate.

Team huddles at the free throw line at East Carolina, 12/30/23

South Carolina missed 15 of its first 20 shots before Te-Hina Paopao knocked down her second 3-pointer of the second quarter, the start of a game-deciding 15-1 run. ECU went four minutes without a basket as the Gamecocks stretched the lead to 34-13 on Sania Feagin’s runout layup.

South Carolina shot 41% for the game and made just 18 of 34 free throws.

McNeal, averaging 19.5 points, missed her first eight shots while seeing constant attention for multiple defenders before finishing with five points on 2-for-16 shooting. Amiya Joyner scored 10 points to lead ECU, which lost point guard Micah Dennis to first-quarter knee injury.

ECU shot just 19% and had as many turnovers as made baskets (13).

Gamecock Notables

  • After a slow shooting start in the first quarter (4-15), the Gamecocks hit 53.5 percent in the second, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. They went on to shoot 60.0 percent in the third to put the game away.
  • The Gamecocks scored 18 second-chance points off 17 offensive rebounds and beat East Carolina on the glass 58-42.
  • South Carolina took care of the basketball against the nation’s leader in forced turnovers (28.2 per game), registering just 11 turnovers in the win.
  • Te-Hina Paopao has hit at least 2 3-pointers in every game this season, hitting that mark early in the second quarter on her way to three total on Saturday. It was her sixth game with three or more from beyond the arc.
  • Kamilla Cardoso recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Pirates. The senior affected all aspects of the game with five assists and two blocks.
  • Chloe Kitts also finished with double-figure rebounds for the fourth time this season with four of her 10 coming on the offensive end.