The Daily Gamecock

South Carolina sports over spring break: What you missed while you were away

<p>FILE - The South Carolina women's basketball team huddles under the hoop before tip-off. The Gamecocks improved to 25-0 as it defeated the Georgia Bulldogs on Feb. 18, 2024. The team is undefeated for the 2023-24 season so far and is looking for a run in the NCAA Tournament. </p>
FILE - The South Carolina women's basketball team huddles under the hoop before tip-off. The Gamecocks improved to 25-0 as it defeated the Georgia Bulldogs on Feb. 18, 2024. The team is undefeated for the 2023-24 season so far and is looking for a run in the NCAA Tournament.

Gamecock Athletics had an action-packed first week of March, as many teams wrapped up their regular seasons with postseason play on the horizon. Here's how multiple South Carolina sports teams fared while students were away on spring break.

Women's basketball

The South Carolina women's basketball team wrapped up its conference tournament on March 10, earning its eighth SEC Tournament title in the past decade with a 79-72 win over No. 8 LSU in Greenville, South Carolina. Freshman guard MiLaysia Fulwiley scored a team-high 24 points in a performance that named her the tournament MVP.

After completing its second consecutive undefeated regular season with a 76-68 win over Tennessee on March 3, South Carolina picked up two early-round tournament victories on the way to the championship game.

The Gamecocks relied on its depth and rebounding abilities to earn a 79-68 win over Texas A&M in the quarterfinals on March 8, and it captured a 74-73 win over the Volunteers with a late 3-pointer from senior center Kamilla Cardoso in the semifinals on March 9.

South Carolina will learn its NCAA Tournament fate on ESPN's Selection Sunday broadcast, which begins at 8 p.m. on March 17.

Men's basketball

The South Carolina men's basketball team headed into the final week of the regular season with an opportunity to earn a share of the SEC regular season title. While the team came up just short, it carried some positive momentum into the upcoming SEC Tournament.

South Carolina kicked off the final leg of its regular season on March 2 with an 82-76 win over then-No. 24 Florida. The game was defined by a second-half comeback that saw junior guard Meechie Johnson score 21 of his 25 points in the final 20 minutes.

The Gamecocks faced another ranked opponent in No. 4 Tennessee on March 6, but the team was unable to extend its three-game win streak in a 66-59 loss, which gave the Volunteers the outright SEC regular season title on Senior Night.


FILE - Junior guard Meechie Johnson takes pictures with fans after South Carolina's win against Vanderbilt on Feb. 10, 2024. The Gamecock men's basketball team defeated the Commodores 75-60 at Colonial Life Arena.

“You know, the sun will come up tomorrow, and we've got a lot that we’re still playing for, still more milestones that are out there for us,” head coach Lamont Paris said. “I joked around with them. I said, 'The SEC just wasn’t quite ready for us to do all that and end up being first place in the league,' so we’ll have to settle for something else.”

South Carolina would eventually settle for a No. 5 seed in the SEC Tournament despite a 93-89 victory in overtime over Mississippi State on March 9. Four Gamecocks scored in double-digits, including graduate student forward B.J. Mack, who accumulated a team-high 25 points on 8-11 shooting.

South Carolina will begin tournament play on March 14 against either Arkansas or Vanderbilt at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.


South Carolina baseball rebounded from its two Palmetto Series defeats to Clemson over the first weekend of the month with five wins from March 5 to 10, which helped the team improve its record to 13-3 overall.

The Gamecocks kicked off the hot streak with two midweek victories at Founders Park. South Carolina earned a 7-1 win over the Citadel Bulldogs on March 5 before picking up a 4-1 win over the Davidson Wildcats on a six-inning contest on March 6.

“I just thought it was a good bounce-back game for us — exactly what we needed,” head coach Mark Kingston said after the victory over the Bulldogs.

South Carolina carried its momentum into the weekend with a three-game sweep of Longwood, including a 10-0 run-rule victory to open the series on March 8. Fifth-year outfielder Dylan Brewer continued his impressive start to the season with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored while hitting 3-4 at the plate.

"I don't know that many center fielders (that) are playing better than him in the country, both offensively and defensively," Kingston said. "It's great to see because he's a hard worker (and) he's a great teammate."


South Carolina softball started the month with an undefeated weekend at the Knights Classic in Orlando, Florida, from March 1 to 3, where it picked up victories over Kennesaw State, UCF, Bethune-Cookman and Princeton.

The Gamecocks' 4-0 victory over Bethune-Cookman was a historic one, as sophomore pitcher Jori Heard threw the 11th perfect game in program history — South Carolina's first since 2007. Heard went seven scoreless innings without allowing a single runner to reach base, striking out four batters in the process.

After its March 6 matchup against USC Upstate was postponed due to weather, the Gamecocks traveled to take on No. 17 Texas A&M for its first SEC action of the season. South Carolina was unable to replicate its success at the Knights Classic in this series, however, as it dropped all three games of the series from March 8 to 10.

Track and Field

South Carolina's track and field team was well-represented at the NCAA Indoor Championships, which was in Boston, Massachusetts, from March 8 to 9. Gamecock runners finished first in two events and earned several All-American honors over the course of the weekend.

South Carolina's 4x400-meter women's relay team — consisting of freshmen JaMeesia Ford and Zaya Akins and juniors Jayla Jamison and Jahnile Registre — took home a gold medal in the event and earned First-Team All-American honors. Ford also finished first in the women's 200-meter sprint.

Senior thrower Dylan Targgart and junior sprinter Anthony Greenhow Jr. were named First-Team All-Americans after their performances in the men's shot put and 200-meter sprints, respectively.

Women’s golf

The South Carolina women's golf team traveled to Hilton Head, South Carolina, to compete in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate tournament from March 4 to 6.

The Gamecocks — which is ranked No. 5 in the country — finished fourth on the team leaderboard, marking its fifth consecutive top-five finish in the event.

Junior Hannah Darling finished atop the team leaderboard for her first career victory, shooting a 5-under-par 208 throughout the tournament. Darling tied for the overall lead with Mississippi State junior Julia Lopez Ramirez, Northwestern senior Jennifer Cai and University of Texas freshman Farah O'Keefe.

Swimming and Diving

Six South Carolina swimmers were named on the women’s NCAA Swim & Dive Championships qualification list that was released on March 6.

Sophomores Jordan Agliano, Meaghan Harnish and Amy Riordan; junior Greta Pelzek and seniors Bella Pantano and Nicholle Toh all had qualifying times below the NCAA's threshold in their respective events.

The women’s NCAA Championships will take place from March 20 to 23 at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the University of Georgia's campus.


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