The No. 1-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks continued to roll through the NCAA Tournament, taking down Georgia Tech 76-65 on Sunday to reach the program’s fifth Elite Eight and fourth in the past six seasons, setting up a showdown with Texas.
The Gamecocks enjoyed a scorching perimeter shooting performance against the 5-seed Yellow Jackets, draining 57% of their 3-pointers and led by Zia Cooke’s 17 points (5-of-6 from 3-point land). That lights-out shooting helped South Carolina weather a scoreless first half from star Aliyah Boston, and turned away a late Georgia Tech run in the fourth quarter.
Laeticia Amihere continued her strong play off the bench, chipping in 15 points with seven rebounds. Victaria Saxton also hit double figures for the Gamecocks with 12 points, and Boston and Destanni Henderson were just shy with nine points each.
South Carolina outscored Georgia Tech 44-32 in the paint, although only just edged Tech with a 29-28 rebounding advantage.
South Carolina now turns to tomorrow night’s matchup against No. 6 Texas (21-9), which pulled off a stunning 64-61 upset over 2-seed Maryland in the Sweet 16. While the Gamecocks have only played the Longhorns a couple times in program history — most recently along their way to the 2017 NCAA Tournament title — Texas is now led by former Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer. When Schaefer was with the Bulldogs, the two programs frequently battled it out for SEC supremacy, with Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks going 12-3 in those matchups — which includes, most famously, the 2017 national championship game.
Texas will be battling for its first trip to the Final Four since 2003, and looking for Charli Collier to outduel fellow 6-foot-5 post star Aliyah Boston. In addition to upsetting Maryland, the Horns also notched a big win over No. 3 UCLA in the Round of 32, so their tournament performance has been no fluke. This will be the toughest test yet for South Carolina, particularly with UT’s stingy defense and knack for forcing turnovers.
Tip off is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN.