The South Carolina women’s basketball team defeated the Kentucky Wildcats on Feb. 10 59-50, despite a late comeback attempt by the Wildcats.
The Gamecocks controlled the first, second and third quarters, but the team's 17 turnovers left head coach Dawn Staley displeased. During the fourth quarter, the Gamecocks struggled and Kentucky came back within 5 points. The Gamecock defense was able to hold off the Wildcats and bring home the victory, though.
“We want to win a game,” Staley said. “We were making bad decisions.”
The Gamecocks started the game off owning the paint and outscored its opponent. All 26 of the Gamecocks' points going into halftime were from within the paint. Junior forward Aliyah Boston dominated the boards throughout the game and recorded her sixteenth straight double-double in the win.
“We got Aliyah Boston and Victaria Saxton," Staley said. "We built a lead to where we could get them some rest.”
Despite Kentucky lagging behind for most of the game, the Wildcats staged a fourth-quarter rally to get back in the game.
Prior to this, Staley had given the reserves opportunities to play and earn experience. Zia Cooke's presence off the bench was felt as she helped increase the lead.
“I tried to keep our reserves in as long as possible, to see if they could make a push,” Staley said.
Kentucky's comeback push forced Staley's hand and with 1:57 left in the game, the reserves came out and the starters were subbed back in.
“Any experience is good experience, but not at the expense of costing us a game,” Staley said.
The Gamecocks are now 22-1 (10-1 SEC) and will travel to Athens to play the Georgia Bulldogs in its next game on Feb. 13. The game will tip-off at noon on ESPN2.