- Kendall Smith
Gamecocks bounce-back with win over Missouri
COLUMBIA, SC - Coming off of a heartbreaking overtime loss to No. 2 Connecticut on Monday, the South Carolina women’s basketball team found their winning ways again tonight with a 77-62 victory over the Missouri Tigers.
The Tigers hung tough with the Gamecocks throughout the first half of play, relying on their bench to pick up the slack of starters who faced foul trouble early. Missouri's Shug Dickson led the Tigers in scoring with 15 points on the night, but her contributions were not enough to stop the offensive explosion in the second half from South Carolina.
South Carolina sophomore, Aliyah Boston, finished the night with yet another double-double, totaling 11 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. But it was sophomore guard Zia Cooke who led the Gamecocks in scoring, tallying up 15 points on the evening.
South Carolina’s defense also tightened in the second half, as they held Missouri to just 26 points, 10 points less than their first half total.
“Defense is something that we really need to take ownership of to help us win the rest of our games,” Lele Grissett, senior guard for the Gamecocks commented after the win.
As for what the future holds for the No. 1 Gamecocks (16-2, 11-0 SEC), they will face a tough conference schedule to finish out the year, but head coach Dawn Staley is ready for the challenge
“That is the gift and the curse of being in the SEC,” said Staley, “You’re going to be challenged every single day.”
In terms of challenges in post-regular season play, Staley is confident in her team, especially if they have another opportunity to clash with the UConn Huskies.
“I know that if we get another shot at them, we will be a better and different team on both sides of the ball,” said Staley.
South Carolina’s next game is on Sunday at Colonial Life Arena against LSU (8-9, 6-5 SEC) with tip-off is scheduled for noon.