Carolina’s destiny rests in Destanni’s hands

Carolina’s destiny rests in Destanni’s hands
South Carolina's Destanni Henderson (3) looks for a teammate while surrounded by Kentucky's Olivia Owens, left, Rhyne Howard, back center, and Jazmine Massengill (13) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/James Crisp) (Source: James Crisp)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Last time on the floor, Carolina women’s basketball needed a wake-up call at the half in its super showdown at Kentucky.

“I feel like we were pretty much just going through the motions,” said South Carolina point guard Destanni Henderson.

Head coach Dawn Staley kept it real in the locker room in Lexington to motivate the troops.

“I did have a few choice words for our players because they looked lethargic,” Staley said.

By the second half, the energy and focus picked up as the Gamecocks erased a nine-point deficit to secure a big win over the rival Wildcats.

“It showed me we were a team that can fight,” Henderson said.

Henderson was the lead warrior playing the most minutes (38) and scoring the most points (22) on Sunday. Her play caught the attention of one of Staley’s friends who works in the NBA with the Boston Celtics.

“He’s like, ‘We need that point guard on our team.’” mentioned Staley. She said her friend on the Celtics went onto say, “The way she pushed the ball up the floor was unreal.”

Henderson’s great tempo in transition saved the day against the Wildcats.

“We don’t win the game,” said Staley. “The efficiency we scored in transition verse what we did in the half-court set was telling.”

Staley sees the effectiveness of that speed working wonders for the team’s overall success.

“When the ball is in her hands, even us, even her teammates on the back of her heels,” added Staley.

Henderson sets the tone not only with her speed but willingness to lead when the game is on the line, which we saw last Sunday at Kentucky.

“I do have to take control in those moments,” Henderson said. “I just try to use my strengths to my advantage.”

Lookout Music City! Henderson and company head your way Thursday to take on Vanderbilt.

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