South Carolina continues domination in SEC, beat Arkansas for spot in SEC Tournament semifinals
GREENVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina defeated the University of Arkansas 93-66 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. The Gamecocks were led by seniors Victoria Saxton, Brea Beal, and two-time SEC Player of the Year Aliyah Boston.
The first quarter was rather competitive, South Carolina had a slight 24-17 lead over the Razorbacks, due in part to a 10-point run in the middle of the quarter, capped with two back-to-back threes by guard Brea Beal. While Arkansas guard Makayla Daniels kept the Razorbacks in the game with her outside shooting, the senior guard made two triples throughout the quarter keeping the Razorbacks within striking distance.
One of the key factors for South Carolina was depth. During the first half, the Gamecocks leaned heavily on the leadership of senior Victoria Saxton. The forward led all scorers with 12 points. SEC Defensive Player of the Year Aliyah Boston almost had a double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds during the first two quarters.
South Carolina had no problem finding the hoop in the first half, outscoring Arkansas 45-30. The Gamecocks also outrebounded the Razorbacks 29 to 12 in the first 20 minutes of play.
No shoe?? No problem for @v5axton 😤👟— South Carolina Women's Basketball (@GamecockWBB) March 3, 2023
📺 @SECNetwork https://t.co/FDXwkRHA56 pic.twitter.com/kqn2DtjbH0
In the beginning moments of the third quarter, the Gamecocks extended their lead by 20 points thanks in part to suffocating defense and excellent transition offense. The height of South Carolina’s bigs bothered Arkansas, with the Razorbacks struggling to score.
NOT IN HER HOUSE | @aa_boston— South Carolina Women's Basketball (@GamecockWBB) March 3, 2023
📺 @SECNetwork https://t.co/FDXwkRHA56 pic.twitter.com/UiriowBnVH
Arkansas started making a comeback when Boston hit the bench, scoring seven straight points. Raven Johnson re-ignited the Gamecocks’ energy at the end of the quarter with a steal, followed by a layup by Laeticia Amihere.
South Carolina and Arkansas each scored 17 points in the third, but the Gamecocks ended the quarter with an 18-point lead.
!!LIVVY TIME!! pic.twitter.com/bfv2FJboEL— South Carolina Women's Basketball (@GamecockWBB) March 3, 2023
Arkansas was able to partially neutralize South Carolina in the third by swarming the paint and grabbing rebounds.
In the last quarter of play, the Gamecocks started off the period resting most of their starters, while the benched continued to add to the lead, getting the score up to a 22-point lead at one time during the quarter.
The Gamecocks have won 36 straight games and are looking for their third SEC championship in four years.
Victoria Saxton ended with 19 points, while Aliyah Boston had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kamilla Cardoso added 14 points, and Kierra Fletcher had 12 points on the night.
South Carolina will play the winner of Ole Miss and Texas A&M in the semi-finals of the tournament. That game will be Saturday, March 4 at 4:30 p.m. at the ours Wellness Arena in Greenville.
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