This is unfamiliar territory for South Carolina women's basketball. Dawn Staley's team entered Friday afternoon's game as the #1 seed and the favorite to win the SEC Tournament. Fortunately, the No. 5 Gamecocks did not disappoint as they secured a convincing win against Georgia and advanced to the tournament semifinals for the second time in three years.
South Carolina came out energized and aggressive from the tip, and consistently dominated Georgia in the paint. Freshman center Alaina Coates scored 13 points and Elem Ibiam added another 12, as both were able to score seemingly at will over the much smaller Bulldogs. SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell only went 4-10 for 11 points, but it didn't matter as Georgia was unable to get any shots to fall. In fact, despite out-rebounding the Gamecocks 40-35, the rival Bulldogs shot an ice cold 26.1 percent on the afternoon. In contrast, South Carolina shot a dominant 57.1 percent.
With win number 27, Dawn Staley's team matched the second-highest season wins total in the university's women's basketball history (tied with the 1978-79 team). The Gamecocks will square off against the Kentucky Wildcats at noon on Saturday. If South Carolina is able to top Kentucky for the third time this year, they will advance to the SEC Tournament championship game for the first time ever.