The South Carolina Gamecocks Women’s basketball team wound up on the wrong side of 11 point margin Sunday afternoon, dropping their first game of the season to the Duke Blue Devils 74-63 on the road. It was the Gamecocks’ earliest regular season loss since 2013.
While it looked promising early for Dawn Staley’s squad who jumped out to an 11-4 lead halfway through the first, turnovers and Duke’s ability to capitalize off South Carolina’s mistakes allowed the Blue Devils to swing the game the other way, outscoring the Gamecocks 22-13 in the second. Duke entered the halftime break with 15 points off 12 Gamecock turnovers.
It wasn’t just turnovers though that plagued the Gamecocks as Duke guard Rebecca Greenwell caught fire to log 29 points, connecting on 4-7 from three point range, which decided the difference in this one. While the Blue Devils enjoyed an efficient afternoon from behind the arc, shooting 47% from three, South Carolina struggled all game to create any consistency from the field, finishing with a 26% success rate from the field.
After Duke was able to maintain their lead throughout the third, South Carolina was able to get the Blue Devils lead to five to start the fourth with back-to-back Kaela Davis three’s. But, the Gamecock’s inability to stop Duke’s offense and slow down Greenwell never allowed them to get any closer.
The win for Duke marked their first win against a top-25 team in their past nine chances.
After a tough three game stretch, the Gamecocks, who are now 8-1 on the year, will go a week before their next game, hosting Minnesota December 11th.