Hall's Timely 3s Help Deliver Win Over Mississippi State
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Bree Hall had 15 points including back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter to extend an uncomfortably close margin and help No. 1 South Carolina stay undefeated with an 85-66 victory over Mississippi State on Sunday.
Kamilla Cardoso added 13 points, 14 rebounds and a team-high six assists and Chloe Kitts and Te-Hina Paopao had 12 points apiece for the Gamecocks (2-0 SEC), who opened 14-0 for a second straight season.
But this was far from the runaway midway through the third quarter with Mississippi State hanging around, down just 54-44 and sticking tight. That’s when Hall struck for her long-range baskets to the cheers of the once-edgy fans.
Mississippi State (13-4, 0-2) could not respond and fell to 1-16 all-time against top-ranked opponents.
The Bulldogs have always been a troublesome opponent for the Gamecocks and gave the star-laden team of Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke all they could handle in South Carolina’s 58-51 win a year ago.
Jerkaila Jordan led the Bulldogs with 25 points.
- The Gamecocks opened SEC play 2-0 for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons.
- South Carolina opened quickly, shooting over 60.0 percent in the first quarter for the third time in four games and the seventh time in the last eight games.
- The Gamecock defense settled in after the first quarter, holding the Bulldogs to just 31.0 percent shooting in that stretch.
- Kamilla Cardoso posted a double-double for the third-straight game, opening with seven points in the first quarter. She matched her career high with six assists as well.
- Bree Hall was the steadying force, answering any time the Gamecock needed a bucket and leading the team with 15 points, including three 3s.
- Ashlyn Watkins turned in another solid game, just missing a double-double with nine points and 10 boards to go with her three blocks in 28 minutes.