On Friday, Dawn Staley’s Lady Gamecocks took down the Crimson Tide in the Quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament 75-63. The win marked the 19th consecutive victory over the Tide, and sets up for an intriguing semifinal re-match against Tennessee on Saturday.
Dawn Staley said leading up to the game that she wanted the offense to be more aggressive and in the first half it showed. The Gamecocks scored the first 10 points of the game and ended the first quarter up 20. Carolina led by as much as 27 in the first half. 26 points in the first quarter was the highest scoring opening quarter Carolina has had in a month.
Destanni Henderson was left off the All-SEC team, despite leading the league in assists. Henderson clearly wanted to send a message that she was snubbed, as there was a point where she alone had 10 and the entire Crimson Tide team had 12. The Junior Point Guard ended with 18 points and 5 assists on 3-3 shooting from three.
Let Zia ‘Cook’e
Zia Cooke shot just over 23% in the loss to Texas A&M. She responded to Dawn Staley’s challenge Saturday, going off for 22 points on 9/17 shooting, including a buzzer-beating three to end the first quarter. Cooke’s performance this postseason will be vital to Carolina’s title hopes.
A lot of emphasis was put on the offense getting off to a faster start and they certainly did that Saturday. However, if you’re a Gamecock fan you can’t help but be concerned that a 27 point lead evaporated to single digits in the second half and made the 4th quarter way more uncomfortable than it should have been. Fans certainly remember watching the same thing happen against Tennessee a few weeks ago in what appeared to be a sound victory, that turned into the Gamecocks 3rd loss of the season.
South Carolina will take on Tennessee Saturday at 6:30.