South Carolina had a tough time against Vanderbilt tonight on the road, but managed to pull off the win and improve to 14-0 on the year.
The Gamecocks got off to a bit of a slow start, but still led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter. However the Commodores came out strong in the second quarter and went on a run to take a 15-20 lead. Carolina fought back to pull ahead and the scoring went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter. The game went to halftime tied at 31-31.
South Carolina continued to struggle coming out of halftime, as Vandy scored 6 straight before the Gamecocks finally got back on the board with a made free throw. After going on a run of their own to go up 39-37, the Gamecocks again traded the lead back and forth with the Commodores for a few minutes. After Vandy tied things up yet again, Tina Roy hit a three to send the Gamecocks to the fourth quarter with a 49-46 advantage. Things stayed tight between the two teams throughout the final quarter. Though the Gamecocks didn't give up the lead again, the Commodores hung around until the final minutes. But South Carolina made the shots that they needed to finally prevail and get the 71-61 victory.
Tiffany Mitchell went down hard late in the first quarter and came out of the game, but she entered the game again midway through the second quarter. It's fortunate for the Gamecocks that she was able to come back in, as she led the team in scoring with a season-high 22 points.
The Gamecocks got another double-double from Alaina Coates, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds. This was the seventh double-double for Coates and she just set the program record for double-doubles in SEC play with twelve so far in her career.
Carolina also got strong performances from Tina Roy, who scored 13 points, and from Khadijah Sessions, who scored 11. Both Roy and Sessions were especially valuable for hitting timely 3-pointers in the second half. Roy made 4 of her 6 three-point attempts and both of Sessions' makes came late in the 4th quarter to help the Gamecocks finally put Vandy away.
South Carolina returns to action when they host the Missouri Tigers at CLA on Sunday at 12 pm.