No. 1 South Carolina rolls past Missouri 83-45
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — MiLaysia Fulwiley scored 19 points, Chloe Kitts had 12 points and five blocks and No. 1 South Carolina handily won its first game with leading scorer Kamilla Cardoso out for Olympic qualifying in an 83-45 victory over Missouri on Thursday night.
Cardoso, a contender for Southeastern Conference player of the year, is competing for her national team, Brazil, in attempting to reach the Paris Games.
Without their 6-foot-7 centerpiece, things got off to a rocky start for the Gamecocks (22-0, 10-0) as the team had two turnovers and missed three shots while Missouri (11-12, 2-8) opened a 6-0 lead.
But soon enough South Carolina was off and running with a 37-12 burst behind some of its youngest players in Kitts, Ashlyn Watkins and Fulwiley. Kitts and Watkins, sophomores, and Fulwiley, a freshman, combined for 31 points during the run.
The dynamic Fulwiley brought some missing energy to her team and the crowd, hitting a pair of threes and having a sweet inside pass to Kitts for another basket. Fulwiley finished with six of her team’s 15 steals.
— South Carolina Women’s Basketball (@GamecockWBB) February 9, 2024
Ashton Judd, Abbey Schreacke and Grace Slaughter had 12 points each for Missouri.
Along with Cardoso, the Gamecocks were also without freshman reserve forward Sahnya Jah, who was suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team.
- After a slow start, South Carolina took charge, finishing the first quarter on a 7-0 run to go on top by double digits, then continued the streak by closing out the first half outscoring Mizzou 11-0.
- South Carolina was selfless against the Tigers, having all nine available players scoring at least four points on the night.
- The Gamecocks were strong on defense, tying their season high with 15 steals in addition to a new season-high 11 blocks in conference play.
- Malaysia Fulwiley led the team in scoring for the eighth time this season, finishing just shy of a career-high at 19, with nine coming in the first quarter alone on 4-of-5 shooting … Fulwiley also finished with a team-high six steals, tying her career-high.
- Chloe Kitts was hot on both sides of the ball finishing with a near double-double at 12 points and eight boards, in addition to a new career and team-high five blocks…eight of her 12 points came in just seven minutes on the court in the second quarter.
- Sania Feagin had her seventh double-figure game of the season, going a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line in addition to a bucket to put up six of her 11 points in the third quarter as part of a 13-5 run by the Gamecocks.
- Tessa Johnson’s six points came from a pair of 3s, hitting one in the final quarter in addition to dishing four of her new career-high five assists.
— South Carolina Women's Basketball (@GamecockWBB) February 9, 2024