The Daily Gamecock

Bree Hall's experience as junior guard helps lead Gamecock women's basketball to undefeated start of season

<p>Junior guard Bree Hall drives the ball through the court against Mississippi State's defense. The Gamecocks won 85-66 against the Bulldogs.</p>
Junior guard Bree Hall drives the ball through the court against Mississippi State's defense. The Gamecocks won 85-66 against the Bulldogs.

The South Carolina women's basketball team is the lone undefeated team in the country and has been ranked No. 1 since the second week of the 2023-24 season. Junior guard Bree Hall's shots weren't finding the net in the early stages of the campaign, but as the season continued, she's found her rhythm within the team and improved her on-court performance. 

Up until the Gamecocks' matchup against Presbyterian on Dec. 16, Hall had recorded double-digit points in only three of team's first nine games.

But Hall has finally found her footing after a slow start to the season and has become a key part of South Carolina's prolific offense.

"There have been some very upset moments in my career, just this year, and I'm just really proud of how well I've bounced back from it," Hall said. 

Hall, like a number of her teammates, has stepped into a bigger role this season after the departure of "The Freshies," who were mainstays in the Gamecocks' starting lineup over the past four years. Among those departing players was Aliyah Boston, who went on to be selected in the WNBA as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft, named an All-Star Game starter and the league's Rookie of the Year.

Hall is averaging 10.8 points per game on 50.4% shooting from the field, including 48.4% from three. Not only has Hall doubled her points per game from last year (5.0), but she has also developed into a more efficient shooter than she was last year (40.5% on field goals and 35.9% on 3-pointers).

She has kicked it into high gear especially during SEC play, where she has registered some of her highest-scoring performances of the season. Her best scoring display came from the game against Missouri on Jan. 11. She totaled 21 points on 8-10 shooting from the field, including a perfect 4-4 from 3-point range, and added with four rebounds and two blocks. 

"She's been playing extremely well on both sides of the basketball," head coach Dawn Staley said. "She sat the bench a lot her first two years, and then she has an opportunity to start and to play an integral role on our team." 


Hall played behind former Gamecock guard Brea Beal last season, who had a brief stint in the WNBA with the Minnesota Lynx. Hall appeared in 35 games last season, logging 486 total minutes. She has nearly surpassed that total this year, with 422 minutes played across 16 games. 

Hall credits her recent success to being in a good mental place.

"This game is really a mental game, first, and I feel like from the start of the season to now, I've had a strong mental, and just fighting back and getting back to how I usually play," Hall said. 

Therapy specifically has helped her this year, she said. Hall was having doubts about her on-court performance not matching up with her personal goals of stepping up and leading the team. 

"I'd say the biggest thing for me is that I see a therapist, if we're being honest," Hall said. "I said that in one of my TikToks and everybody loved it, but I do see the sports therapist quite often."

Hall highly recommends that other athletes do the same. In addition to seeing a sports therapist, she said Staley has helped her manage her expectations.

"She's definitely pulled me aside, had great conversations with me," Hall said. "(She's) really just helped me build my confidence."

That confidence has translated into becoming a more vocal leader on and off the court, especially to younger teammates like freshman guard Tessa Johnson. Johnson said guards like Hall have helped her adjust to the college game.

"They tell me where to go. They tell me, 'Keep my head up. Keep going,' just in general," Johnson said. "They've experienced it in their previous years, so they just give us their advice."

Hall is looking to continue her streak of positive performances against SEC opponents as the Gamecocks travel to Baton Rouge to face reigning champion LSU on Thursday. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.


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