Although they led for most of the game, the Gamecocks struggled to put away the Lady Vols in Columbia last night. That failure to put the game away almost cost Carolina a key victory, as UT whittled away at what was once an eleven-point lead to 67-66 with under 20 seconds to go. However, Tiffany Mitchell extended the lead to three with two clutch foul shots, and Carolina then put the game away after Tennessee turned the ball over on its final meaningful possession. Carolina won 71-66.
The win brings Carolina an important step closer to an SEC regular-season crown. The Gamecocks are now a game ahead of the Lady Vols in the standings and also possess a tie-breaker over their only competitor for the top spot. Carolina does have two tough games left on deck, a home contest against Mississippi St. and a road trip to revenge-minded Kentucky. The Gamecocks would obviously like to win both of those games to maintain seeding for the NCAA Tournament, but they'll only need to win one to win their second-straight regular-season league crown.