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South Carolina 69 Mississippi State 43

Dawn Staley's Lady Gamecocks battled with the visiting Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs for a half, then never looked back in the second frame after blistering the Maroon and White with a 20-5 run after the break. Our stellar senior guards, La'Keisha Sutton and Markeshia Grant paced the Garnet and Black with 17 and 15 points, respectively, and were instrumental in the big run to open the second half; Markeshia broke out of a bit of an offensive slump, going 6-of-11 from the field, and 3-of-7 from three-point range; La'Keisha only made 1-of-3 from the perimeter, but scored an impressive 8-of-14 from the floor. Junior G Ieasia Walker had 6 assists; Freshman F Elem Ibiam came off the bench to pull down a team-high 6 rebounds. Curiously, neither Sutton, Grant or Walker went to the stripe - how odd.

For MSU, Porsha Porter led all scorers with 19 points, not to mention a game-high 7 boards. Notwithstanding Porter's strong play, rebounding was pretty evenly divided 33:31 in MSU's favor - which is amazing when you consider the Lady Bulldogs' significant height advantage over Dawn Staley's squad.

A rock-solid win for Coach Dawn Staley and the Lady Gamecocks, which should further cement their claim on a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. A still tougher test awaits next week, however, when USC must travel to Knoxville's famed Thompson-Boling Arena to face the #7/9 Tennessee Lady Volunteers this coming Thursday, February 2.