It was the last home game in garnet and black for the likes of Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke and Brea Beal among others.
The game itself may not have had much meaning beside clinching the top seed in the SEC Tournament next week, but for the seniors, it was one they wanted to win.
And they did.
Top-ranked South Carolina (29-0, 16-0) defeated the Georgia Bulldogs (20-10, 9-7) Sunday afternoon by the score of 73-63. Additionally, USC clinched an undefeated regular season, won its 35th straight game and earned a double-bye with the top seed in the SEC Tournament.
As I said before, this game was special for the seniors, and Aliyah Boston certainly played like it.
She scored 25 points – her most since the UConn game earlier this month – on 9-of-13 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds to give Boston yet another double-double.
The Bulldogs did not have much of an answer for any of South Carolina’s bigs in general, either.
Kamilla Cardoso, despite a slow start due to foul trouble, also had a day, finishing with 13 points while shooting 62.5% from the field.
Of USC’s 73 points, 61 of them were scored either in the paint or at the free throw line, and the Cocks almost doubled Georgia’s rebounding totals, leading to 17 second chance points.
Thanks to the size advantage, South Carolina drew 28 fouls, leading to one Georgia player fouling out and two other starters finishing with four a piece.
Although Boston had one of her more impressive games of the year and the Gamecocks were able to complete the rare feat of not losing a game all season, it wasn’t among the best of performances by South Carolina despite the victory.
The Gamecocks turned it over 14 times (which the Bulldogs turned into 13 points), continued to struggle from long range as they were only able to see two go through the hoop on 14 tries and shot poorly from the charity stripe, draining only 19-of-31 attempts, including an 0-of-7 clip from Laeticia Amihere.
Additionally, home is a place where South Carolina tends to play its best ball, having outscored teams in Columbia coming into Sunday by an average of 40.8 points, but were only able to top a middle-of-the-pack Georgia squad by 10.
A fair sum of points were left on the board, and the Cocks failed to put away Georgia until the very end because of that.
Nevertheless, the postseason begins for the Gamecocks on Friday at noon as they are set to take on either the Arkansas Razorbacks or Missouri Tigers – schools South Carolina has beaten by 46 and 31 earlier in the year respectively – in the team’s SEC Tournament debut.