No. 12 South Carolina (17-5, 9-1 SEC) defeated the Ole Miss Rebels (8-16, 2-8 SEC) in blowout fashion on Thursday night at Colonial Life Arena with a score of 76-42, including a 35-6 run in the third and fourth quarters of the game.
Early in the game, the Gamecocks and Rebels women's basketball teams were both held scoreless with six combined turnovers in the first three and a half minutes of the first quarter until Gamecock junior guard Te’a Cooper hit a two-point jumper that would begin a 10-5 run for South Carolina.
However, Ole Miss was able to get its offensive game going, as the Rebels went three-for-four from the field to end the first quarter to make the score 17-11 in favor of the Gamecocks.
The Rebels would start the second quarter with an 8-5 run to cut their deficit to only three points in the first half of the quarter. The Gamecocks got into an offensive groove and went on a 13-4 run over the course of the next five and a half minutes.
Despite South Carolina’s offensive surge, Ole Miss held the Gamecocks to no field goals in the last two and a half minutes. Going into halftime, Ole Miss was down by a score of 36-27.
After halftime, it was a completely different game for South Carolina. The Gamecocks created an offensive surge that lasted the rest of the game.
South Carolina junior forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan hit a three-point jumper that would start an 18-2 run throughout the rest of the third quarter which would put South Carolina up 57-32 at the end of the third.
“We defended and rebounded,” Gamecock head coach Dawn Staley said. “That’s what our halftime talk was about is we had no fluidity offensively, we didn’t hit shots, open shots. I think we were just pressing a little bit too much and you just slow the game down and defend the rebound, offensive flow will come.”
The Gamecocks extended their run to 35-6 in the first six and a half minutes of the fourth quarter and would not allow the Rebels to score in nearly four of those minutes.
South Carolina would then cruise the rest of the way to its ninth SEC win of the season with redshirt senior guard Nelly Perry leading the Gamecocks in scoring with 13 points. SEC Freshman of the Week Victaria Saxton put up numbers as well with 12 points on the night along with three rebounds.
South Carolina will now go out of conference on the road Monday in Hartford, Connecticut, to take on the No. 5 UConn Huskies at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.