Yes, you read that correctly. For the past 32 years, South Carolina's women's basketball team has not beaten the Tennessee Lady Vols--until tonight. In fact, South Carolina had never won at Tennessee--as it did tonight. With Steve Spurrier in the stands, Dawn Staley's team nabbed its biggest victory in what is quickly becoming the best women's hoops season in recent memory. It was a 64-60 victory over the eighth-ranked Lady Vols, who, even if they're slightly down this season, are widely considered the gold standard in women's college hoops.
Markeshia Grant led the Gamecocks with 27 points. The game went down to the wire, with the Vols leading in the final minutes before the Gamecocks closed the game with a 9-0 run, including Ieasia Walker's go-ahead layup with two minutes left to play. Tennessee out-shot Carolina, but Carolina's scrappy play on the boards and +7 turnover differential allowed us to take more shots.
Needless to say, this is a big-time win for Staley's team. We should definitely be back in the top 25 next week, and with a few more wins will put ourselves in good position for a nice NCAA tournament seed. We're also now only one game behind UT for second in the league, and we have a home game with them that we can use to catch up. Of course, we're still three behind sixth-ranked Kentucky, which is undefeated in the SEC. While we may not catch the 'Cats, there's certainly very good reason to believe that this program is right where it needs to be.