Bree Hall scores career best in victory over Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Bree Hall scored a career-high 21 points, Te-Hina Paopao added 15 and top-ranked South Carolina pulled away in the second half for an 81-57 victory over short-handed Missouri on Thursday night.
The Gamecocks (15-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) led by just five points midway through the third quarter before the Tigers (9-7, 0-3) finally went cold from the perimeter, allowing coach Dawn Staley’s team to run its regular-season winning streak to 65 games.
The last time South Carolina lost? An overtime setback at Missouri on Dec. 30, 2021.
Hayley Frank and Ashton Judd had 16 points apiece to lead the Tigers.
Missouri, already playing without starting guard Mama Dembele and two others due to injuries, was made even thinner by foul trouble that forced Tigers coach Robin Pingeton into some freshman-heavy lineups in the first half.
The Gamecocks took advantage by using a 17-2 run late in the first half to take a 41-28 lead at the break.
Frank and the Tigers kept firing from the perimeter, though. She hit a pair of 3s out of the locker room, and Missouri managed to whittle its deficit to 47-42 midway through the third quarter to put some pressure on the Gamecocks.
South Carolina had the lead back to 13 by the fourth quarter, though, and wasn’t threatened the rest of the way.
- With the victory over the Tigers, South Carolina grabbed its 65th consecutive win in regular season games.
- After facing a 23-21 deficit, the South Carolina offense turned up the heat going on a 20-5 run to round out the second quarter and head into the half on top by 13.
- The Gamecocks dominated the paint, outscoring the Tigers 44-18 from inside.
- Bree Hall had a career night, finishing with a new high of 21 after dropping 16 in the first half alone, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. She ended the night 4-for-4 from behind the arc and shot 80.0% overall from the floor.
- Te-Hina Paopao notched her 11th double-digit game with 15 points, racking up eight of them in the second quarter. Paopao hit three 3s against the Tigers to continue her streak of two or more per game to 14.
- Raven Johnson stepped up in the final quarter, scoring six of her 10 points all while finishing with three steals and a block on the night.
- Sania Feagin had her fourth game of the season in double-figures, and opened the final quarter with a bucket to give the Gamecocks a 15-point lead over Missouri, their largest of the game up to that point. Feagin also dished out a team and SEC career-high four assists.
- Ashlyn Watkins had a great night on both side of the ball, showing great perimeter defense while netting 10 points, grabbing six boards and blocking two shots.