Top-ranked South Carolina rolls over Lady Tigers

Kent Lowe
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The LSU women’s basketball team was handed a 75-51 defeat by No. 1 South Carolina Sunday as a season’s best 3,438 fans gathered at the Maravich Center for its SEC home opener.

The Gamecocks (14-0, 2-0 SEC) were fueled by 6-5 freshman A’ja Wilson, who come off the bench to post her fourth consecutive double-double. She amassed 21 points on 7-of-11 from the floor coupled with a 7-for-9 effort at the free throw line. Wilson also pulled down 13 rebounds to give South Carolina its longest winning streak in school history.

“South Carolina is a very good basketball team, well coached and unbelievable players,” head coach Nikki Caldwell said. “They are obviously one of the best teams in the country. We had opportunities to compete, and I thought there were spurts there that we played really good. I thought we were challenged in the paint due to their size and their toughness in that area, but this is something that this team can take and learn from and we are going to move forward.”

LSU (7-7, 1-1 SEC) did not have any players reach double figures. DaShawn Harden tallied eight of her team-leading nine points during the second half. LSU’s backcourt also received eight points courtesy of Anne Pedersen, and Raigyne Moncrief chipped in seven points for the Lady Tigers.

Making her second start of the season, Stephanie Amichia registered eight points on 4-of-6 shooting and equaled a career-high with seven rebounds. Sheila Boykin picked up six points and 11 rebounds. The 11 rebounds tied the second-highest career output for Boykin.

LSU was limited to a 34.4 percent shooting clip and misfired on six of its seven three-point attempts. The Lady Tigers struggled at the foul line with a 6-for-16 effort.

Conversely, South Carolina fired in 27-of-53 from the field which included an 8-for-21 mark from beyond the 3-point arc. The Gamecocks were 13-of-18 at the charity stripe.

The Lady Tigers did force South Carolina into 23 turnovers, the most committed by the Gamecocks this season. LSU was able to get 14 points of those turnovers, the same point total the Lady Tigers surrendered to South Carolina on their 18 turnovers. The Gamecocks had 18 assists on its 27 baskets, while LSU was only able to muster four assists on its 22 field goals.

Tiffany Mitchell, the SEC’s Preseason Player of the Year, pumped in 17 points for Carolina. She dialed up a trio of 3-pointers and was 7-of-12 on field goals overall.