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