The South Carolina Gamecocks became the first team to win five SEC Championships in six seasons, extending their mastery over the league with a 76-62 victory against Mississippi State on Sunday.
The No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Gamecocks, who have likely wrapped up a No. 1 overall seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, were in control from the opening tip against the Bulldogs, who have been a rival of late but turned in an unusually rough performance.
Of course, the South Carolina defense had a lot to do with that: The Gamecocks racked up 11 blocks, seven steals, and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 53-42 while also dominating the paint with 52 points to Mississippi State’s 34, as MSU could only muster a 38% shooting effort.
Senior standout Mikiah Herbert Harrigan — “Mad Kiki” — powered USC with 15 points, adding three blocks, and earned SEC Tournament MVP honors to cap the absolute tear she’s been on (44 points in her past three games). Brea Beal (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Ty Harris (10 points, 10 assists) each recorded double-doubles, an SEC-first for the title game. Zia Cooke (10 points) rounded out the double-figure scoring, with Destanni Henderson adding eight points off the bench.
Also, please take another moment to appreciate the fluidity, unselfishness, and general court awareness of this passing:
The NCAA Tournament’s selection show is next Monday at 7 p.m., so we’ll see what kind of draw the Gamecocks get in their quest for another national title. Until then, the party continues.