Following its disappointing loss in the regular-season finale against Kentucky, South Carolina bounced back by sending Arkansas home from the SEC Tournament in the quarterfinals. The Gamecocks won 58-36 in an impressive defensive performance.
Carolina used its athleticism in the post to its advantage in this game, particularly defensively. The Gamecocks blocked a school-record 15 shots. A'ja Wilson and Elem Ibiam blocked four apiece. The Gamecocks' successful effort in keeping Arkansas from establishing itself offensively in the post was a big part of how Carolina managed to hold Arkansas below 20% from the field.
Carolina will now take on LSU in the semifinals. The Tigers upset no. 18 Texas A&M to make it this far. Carolina crushed the Tigers in Columbia earlier this season. However, at 17-12, LSU has a lot of motivation to play its best game tomorrow, as an upset over Carolina will bolster its NCAA Tournament hopes. Carolina has extra motivation of its own in the game. For one, the Gamecocks are seeking to hold onto a number-one seed for the Big Dance. Moreover, despite its recent success, Carolina has yet to reach the SEC Tournament finals under Dawn Staley.