The team wasn’t able to repeat Friday’s historic performance (because how could they), but top-seeded South Carolina (31-2) defeated eight-seed Miami (21-13), 49-33, on Sunday afternoon to advance to the Sweet Sixteen and keep its NCAA championship hopes alive.
Coming into the game, many thought the matchup against Miami would cause some fits for South Carolina because of their size, and that appeared to be the case.
Although the Gamecocks typically love going to work in the paint, the Hurricanes’ defense forced USC to score from other areas. Surprisingly, 12 of South Carolina’s first 18 points came from beyond the arc, and Aliyah Boston – a player who scores primarily in the paint – was held to four points on 2-of-10 shooting in the first half.
Additionally, the Cocks scored only 23 points in the first half, which is the team’s lowest total in that span all season.
Despite the offensive struggles, the defense managed to step up and keep South Carolina comfortably ahead, per usual.
Miami only scored 10 points in the first half, including a stretch where they failed to log a field goal during the entire second quarter.
The struggles continued into the third quarter where both teams scored less than 10 points apiece, but the Gamecocks found some life offensively in the fourth quarter, highlighted by two three-point plays by Kamilla Cardoso — who led USC in scoring with 11 points — midway through the quarter and a key three-point play by Brea Beal with just under two minutes to play.
Having shot only 30% from the field during the game, it wasn’t South Carolina’s best display of basketball, but it was good enough for them to advance.
And while it wasn’t the easiest one of her career, Boston clinched her 26th consecutive double-double with 10 points and 16 boards after draining two free throws with 1:18 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Gamecocks travel to Greensboro, North Carolina next week to play either the North Carolina Tar Heels or the Arizona Wildcats in the Sweet Sixteen.