Carolina stifles late LSU rally to stay perfect in SEC play

South Carolina’s star trio guided the top-ranked Gamecocks past the LSU Tigers on Sunday at home. The final score was 66-59.
Updated: Feb. 14, 2021 at 2:28 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina’s star trio guided the top-ranked Gamecocks past the LSU Tigers on Sunday at home. The final score was 66-59.

Destanni Henderson, Zia Cooke, and Aliyah Boston combined to score 44 points.

It marks the Gamecocks’ 12th consecutive win over LSU and 28th straight regular-season victory in SEC play.

The win improves South Carolina’s record to 17-2 overall.

Carolina held an 18-point lead in the final frame but LSU remained relentless to chip away at the deficit.

Granted, the Tigers’ late surge came with Boston on the bench for the final 6:46 of play. LSU closed the gap to five points with under 30 seconds to play.

The Gamecocks never went into panic mode, thanks to a solid start. Carolina’s offense in the first two quarters set a strong tone, scoring on nearly 50% of its possessions.

The only glaring weakness was taking care of the basketball. Carolina turned it over 10 times in the opening half. So, despite quality shooting efficiency, the turnovers kept the game closer than it felt at the half, 34-22.

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks, under the direction of coach Dawn Staley play LSU...
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks, under the direction of coach Dawn Staley play LSU on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021 in the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC.(Tracy Glantz | tglantz@thestate.com)

Cooke was assertive and committed to finding ways into the lane to create scoring opportunities. The Gamecock sophomore guard tallied 11 of her 13 total points in the first half. Despite the will to find shots, Cooke struggled to connect, finishing 5-of-18 shooting from the field.

Henderson looked, and stayed, in rhythm from the onset. The junior guard paced Carolina with 19 points. She connected on 7-of-12 shots, including three three-pointers.

Boston owned the glass with eight rebounds by the break. She finished with her 10th double-double of the season and 23rd of her career, with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

The Gamecocks’ interior defense with Boston in the middle flustered the Tigers’ offense. LSU finished a mere 8-of-25 on layup opportunities -- Boston’s presence a significant factor for the inefficiency around the rim. Carolina’s leader of the swat squad totaled six of the 10 total team blocks.

Copyright 2021 WIS. All rights reserved.