WBB Post-Game Blog: A Hard Lesson

It was another hard lesson for this young women’s basketball team.

After a hard-earned road win against No. 14 Georgia, the Gamecocks stumbled at home against Mississippi State, falling 55-53 on Thursday night.

South Carolina turned the ball over 18 times (their highest total in eight games) and shot just 34.9% from the field (their lowest in their last five games).

“It was a very winnable game, but we didn’t deserve to win,” said South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley. “We lost this game with our preparation.”

In a game that featured a series of mini-runs by each team, it was the Bulldogs who managed to pull away with the win.

South Carolina had an opportunity to tie the game with the final possession of regulation, but Kelsey Bone’s lay-up attempt with a second to go failed to drop.

Staley had been unhappy with the team’s effort in practice in the days leading up to the match-up with Mississippi State.

“It’s my job to get them right and they weren’t right coming into the game,” she said. “Our players have a responsibility too. They have to get themselves in a position to get up and play basketball games.”

An instant reaction might point to Gamecock miscues in the final minute of action as crucial, but Staley and La’Keisha Sutton said the issues were apparent throughout the contest.

“It didn’t come down to those plays,” Staley said. “It came down to plays where things broke down.”

“Throughout the whole game, different people made different mistakes,” said Sutton. “It wasn’t any one mistake.”

Key Box Score

Total FG-FGA 3 pt FG-FGA FT-FTA Rebs Pts Assts TO Blk Stl Min
G Ieasia Walker 4-10 2-4 0-0 5 10 2 4 0 2 27

The freshman guard recorded an SEC-season high in minutes played with 27. Walker had her highest point output since a 10-point effort against Kentucky.

Walker shot 4-of-10 from the field, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc.

Key Stats

  • The Gamecocks out-rebounded the Bulldogs 41-29. Kelsey Bone (13) and Charenee Stephens (10) each had double-digit rebound totals.
  • The Gamecocks had their highest positive rebound margin (+12) since out-rebounding Brown by 20.
  • Stephens recorded her first double-double of SEC play and her second of the season with 10 rebounds and 10 points.
  • South Carolina turned the ball over 18 times, their highest total since 18 turnovers against Kentucky on Jan. 14.

Key Quote

“We lost as a team, we won as a team. Hopefully, we’ll come back better as a team on Sunday.” – La’Keisha Sutton


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Know a Gamecock: Ieasia Walker

Women’s basketball freshman Ieasia Walker comes to Columbia from Amityville, NY. A 5’8 guard, Walker averages 4.5 points per game for the Gamecocks and has played in all 23 games this season.

Ieasia Walker 2010What is your greatest achievement so far?

Winning two national championships at the AAU level.

What is your greatest fear?

Getting injured.

What is the last song you heard?

Jay-Z – What more can I say

What is the last book you read?

Does poetry count? The last thing I read was a poetry book for English class.

What is a talent you’d like to have?

I want to be a better artist.  I’ve always liked to draw. I can draw good, but I can’t draw people really well.  I’d like to perfect that art.

What is your dream job?

To be a coach, maybe at the high school level.

What is your most treasured possession?

My iPod.I like to do sudoku puzzles and that game is on there. I have about 800 songs, videos, everything’s on there.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I was taller.

What is one place you’d like to visit before you die?

Hawaii – i don’t know why. That’s what everyone says. It looks beautiful there though.

Name three people you’d like to meet.

Kobe Bryant, Sanaa Lathan (Love and Basketball is one of my favorite movies), President Obama.

What was your favorite TV show growing up?

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Everyone watched that.

[The Editor: Just to tie it all together – here’s a clip of the Fresh Prince playing basketball. Side note – why are basketball courts always so tiny on sitcoms?]

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Watch South Carolina Baseball Live

Thirteen of South Carolina’s baseball games will be televised this season – click here to see the schedule of televised games. But did you know that if you sign up for Gamecock All-Access, you can also watch live streaming of every non-televised home baseball game? In addition to that, you can also hear the radio broadcast for every baseball game, home or away, for the 2010 season.

Click here to sign up for All-Access and purchase a subscription for just $9.95 per month. For the entire 2010 baseball season, that’s just $40! That’s less than 75 cents per radio broadcast and just over $1 to watch a live stream of a home game at Carolina Stadium.


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Softball Blog: Briana Hamilton

Freshman infielder Briana Hamilton writes the final softball blog of the preseason as she talks about her excitement leading up to finally starting the 2010 season. Click here to read.

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Know a Gamecock: Kandyce Redondo

Today’s Know a Gamecock features softball sophomore Kandyce Redondo. An electronic journalism major from Pembroke Pines, Florida, Redondo chose chose South Carolina over Florida Atlantic, UCF, North Florida and Jacksonville University.

What is your perfect meal?

Pasta. Just plain noodles, no sauce. Nothing, just plain white pasta.

If you could go anywhere before you die where would you go?

I would want to go to Africa and do a safari.

Name a few people you would like to hang out with.

Bob Marley and all of The Beatles.

What was the last book you read?

The last book I read was Breaking Dawn. From the Twilight Saga, the last one.

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie…of all time….I would have to say Drop Dead Fred. It’s really funny.

Who are your three favorite musical artists or bands?

Bob Marley, The Beatles, and I’ll go with Lil’ Wayne…mix it up a little.

Do you have a personal motto?

No worries. Love life.

If you could change one thing, what would you change? About anything?

I’d have to say, I’d like to be a little…about two inches taller. Two inches.

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Top of the Key: WBB vs. Mississippi State

South Carolina hosts Mississippi State tonight at 7 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena. The acrobat, Red Panda, will perform as the halftime act. The game will not be televised, but you can listen live on 1320 AM (in Columbia) or on GamecocksOnline.com. Brad Muller and Marcy Girton will have the call.

South Carolina (13-10, 6-5) Notes

  • Freshman Kelsey Bone is averaging 14.5 points per game, and ranks second in the SEC in rebounding with 9.3 a game.
  • The Gamecocks hold a 7-4 edge over the Lady Bulldogs in games played in Columbia.
  • In Sunday’s game against No.14 Georgia, South Carolina tied its season low for points, but also yielded a season-low points in collecting a 52-42 win.
  • Valerie Nainima was the only Gamecock to reach double-figures in Sunday’s contest, netting 21 points.
  • A win against Mississippi State would bring head coach Dawn Staley within four wins of her 200th as a head coach.
  • The Gamecocks only need to win two more at home to clinch their 100th all-time home win.

Mississippi State (15-9, 6-5) Notes

  • Mississippi State is 3-2 in its last five games and is 3-2 in conference road games this season.
  • As a team, the Lady Bulldogs are averaging 73.5 points per game while limiting opponents to 60.6.
  • Mississippi State is shooting 41 percent from the field.
  • Senior Alex Rack leads the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 19.2 points per game.
  • Mississippi State holds a 15-9 advantage in the overall series. The Lady Bulldogs have won seven of the last 10 meetings.

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MBB Post-Game Blog: Keeping to the Script

Playing at home? Check.

First half shooting struggles? Check.

Manageable halftime deficit? Check.

Second half surge? Check.

Win? Check.

For the fourth time at home in SEC play this season, the Gamecocks followed that script to perfection, gutting out a 77-71 win over Florida at Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday night.

South Carolina shot a forgettable 14-of-37 (38%) in the opening half, but trailed only 35-31 at the break. The Gamecocks were 0-of-9 from behind the arc.

“We were getting great looks, but they weren’t going in,” said South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn.

The Gamecocks were able to keep the Gators from getting too much of an advantage by capitalizing on Florida miscues. Florida turned the ball over 12 times in the first half while South Carolina had only three turnovers.

Leading scorer Devan Downey had just eight points in the opening period. Junior Sam Muldrow led the Gamecocks with 10 points.

“Tonight we wanted to compete and keep playing the next play regardless of how things were going,” said Horn.

Senior guard Brandis Raley-Ross said the team was confident at halftime about shot selection.

“It wasn’t like we were taking bad shots,” he said. “We knew if we kept taking good shots and moving the ball around offensively, they were going to go in.”

In the second half, shots started falling for the Gamecocks while the Gators continued to turn the ball over. The surge started to build and South Carolina would take the lead for good with six and half minutes to go.

Raley-Ross credited defensive pressure (the Gamecocks would force 20 Gator turnovers) as the factor that pushed South Carolina past Florida.

“Defense – we were preaching it at every huddle,” he said.  “We knew we could do what we wanted offensively – it was all about defense.”

Raley-Ross scored 17 points in the second half, including four three-pointers. Downey got on track as well, finishing with 24 points.

“The second half effort was much better,” said Horn. “We played with a lot more energy on both ends of the court. It was a terrific total team effort.”

Key Box Score

Total FG-FGA 3 pt FG-FGA FT-FTA Rebs Pts Assts TO Blk Stl Min
G Brandis Raley-Ross 6-15 4-11 4-6 2 20 2 2 0 2 33

Early in the second half, Downey drove inside and kicked it out to Raley-Ross for a 3-point attempt. Raley-Ross faked and passed the ball away. His head coach was less than pleased.

“I told him at the media timeout that he leads the country in shot fakes,” said Horn. “I told him if he passed up another 3, he was coming out.”

The senior guard heeded the call, hitting 4-of-8 from behind the arc in the second half to score 20 points. The 20-point effort was a season-high for Raley-Ross and tied his career high.

“Brandis was huge and made some really big shots for us in the second half,” said Horn.

“He told me he was going to take me out so I let it fly,” said Raley-Ross. “It felt good to make them down the stretch like that.”

Key Stats

  • South Carolina forced 20 Florida turnovers, a season-high for the Gators.
  • The Gamecocks scored 20 points off Gator turnovers.
  • South Carolina forced 20 or more turnovers for the ninth time this season.
  • Tonight was the first time this year that two Gamecocks have scored 20 or more points in the game.
  • Tonight was also the first time since the loss to Vanderbilt on Jan. 16 that more than two Gamecocks scored in double figures.
  • Florida struggled from the free throw line, making only 9-of-22 attempts.

Key Quote

“Devan has been so good and so special that I think the effort our entire team is putting forth…has gone a little overlooked. Our guys are continuing to fight and play to find a way to win,” – Darrin Horn.

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