After a trip to the Final Four last season, the Gamecock women’s basketball team opened its 2021-2022 season with an open scrimmage on Friday.
Head coach Dawn Staley opened the event by speaking to the crowd and introducing this year’s theme, “Net Worth." She said the meaning of it was to show how every player and fan adds value, striving them toward success and hopefully cutting down the nets in Minneapolis.
“It impacts not just us, but everyone around us,” senior guard Destanni Henderson said.
From there, the women began to play a 15-minute intrasquad scrimmage. The guards got to work early, including a smooth pass by Henderson to open freshman guard Sania Feagin, as the teams traded points early.
It looked as you expect a team to look early in its practice season. The Gamecocks showed a fast pace that involved a ton of forced turnovers, something Staley emphasized throughout the evening.
Junior forward Aliyah Boston owned in the first game, per usual, as she had a sequence when she went the full length of the court, got her own rebound, then passed it to a wide-open senior guard Destiny Littleton for three.
Both had impressive nights: Boston scored 9 points and had at least six rebounds. Littleton scored 7 points and picked up at least four rebounds.
The Black team, consisting of Littleton, Boston, junior forward Laeticia Amihere, graduate student guard Lele Grissett and junior guard Brea Beal ultimately ended up taking the win over the Garnet team by a score of 22-18.
After a couple of intermission games between the players, the women played a scrimmage against their male practice players.
Starting for the Gamecocks in this game were five familiar faces for Gamecock fans: Beal, Boston, Henderson, junior guard Zia Cooke and senior forward Victaria Saxton.
They kept it close for a while before Cooke went takeover mode, scoring 5 points late. The women finished out the game with a 23-20 win.
“It feels great. We haven’t played with each other for so long,” Henderson said.
The Gamecocks will open their season on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. at North Carolina State. They will play their only scrimmage on Monday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. against Benedict College.