It wasn't easy, but South Carolina outlasted Missouri in the other Columbia. The Gamecocks won by a seemingly somewhat comfortable final score of 60-49, but this was a tightly fought contest throughout until the Gamecocks pulled away at the end with good free throw shooting. Mizzou kept the game close and frequently came within a score of knotting it up.
Missouri had a daring if seemingly conservative plan in this game: Do whatever you can to take away Carolina's athletic advantage. The Tigers clogged the lane in their half-court defense in order to negate Carolina's height advantage in the post, even neglecting to guard Carolina PG Khadijah Sessions when Sessions had the ball beyond the arc at the top of the key. Mizzou took its chances with Carolina's outside shooting in order to make sure Carolina didn't dominate in the paint. The strategy worked for the Tigers for much of the game, with no one other than Tiffany Mitchell doing much damage with the outside shot.
The Tigers were also extremely cautious in transition defense, often sending most of their players to the defensive end instead of crashing the offensive glass on both field goal and free throw attempts in an effort to keep Carolina from scoring points in transition. Again, the strategy generally worked.
Missouri also benefited from very poor free throw shooting by Carolina early in the game, although the Gamecocks did much better in that regard in the final minutes when wrapping things up.
Next up for the Gamecocks is a trip to Gainesville to take on Florida on Monday evening.