Gamecocks WBB: Dawn Staley’s Squad Takes On The Lady Vols In A Top 25 Match-Up

The Gamecocks look to continue their undefeated play in the SEC against another storied program, Tennessee.

The Lady Vols are 12-5 and 6-3 in the SEC lead by the duo of Rae Burrell and Rennia Davis, a junior and senior who can really do anything on the floor. The second-ranked Gamecocks are 2-0 since their OT loss to UConn, beating Missouri and LSU respectively. 

This is a huge game for the Vols, as their season is going a little worse than expected, and while they’ll still make the tournament, an elite win over a top-two team would help elevate their season. For the Lady Gamecocks, this is really just another game. They SHOULD win and anything less than that is beyond disappointing in all honesty. I’ll attempt to give some context on what to watch for as well as how the Gamecocks will pull off this win, and what to look forward to moving forward.

What to Look For?

Zia Cooke, while leading the team in scoring as a sophomore still has a lot to improve, and with the remaining SEC games and tournament, Gamecock fans can look for her to take that next leap forward. Cooke is an incredible athlete and great scorer, but her decision-making clearly is still that of a true sophomore, as she has more turnovers than assists… which is absolutely terrible. 

If Cooke is going to take that leap forward, the upcoming game against Tennessee could be a huge stepping stone for her against a great defensive team. Aliyah Boston and Destanni Henderson on the other hand have been having huge seasons, with Boston dominating the glass with 11.2 rebounds per game, and Henderson creating for the Gamecocks offense even better than Cooke with an over 2.0 turnover/assist ratio. These 2 will look to lead the team in other assets outside of just scoring going into the remainder of the season.

Keys to the Game

Tennessee really lacks one major thing, and it may be the most important thing they need for this game against SC. They don’t really have a great post player. Aliyah Boston will, and should absolutely fill up the box score against the Lady Vols. The Vols center, Kasiyahna Kushkituah has really not lived up to her expectations of being a senior, and Boston should take advantage of this. The Gamecocks backcourt however needs to guard Burrell and Davis tight, attempting to limit their scoring production down the stretch.

Score Projection- SC 68: UT 56

NEXT: Gamecock FB: Where Will Shi Smith Land In This Year’s NFL Draft?

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