Tiffany Mitchell led all scorers with 22 points as the South Carolina women's basketball team bounced back from their first loss of the season to beat the Florida Gators 86-71 Thursday night inside Colonial Life Arena.
After a disheartening loss against UConn Monday night, the Gamecocks couldn't have asked for a better opponent to enter town than the Gators. Coming into the game, Florida was third overall in the SEC with a 7-3 conference record and 19-4 overall, led by their prolific offensive attack, similar to the one faced against the Huskies Monday.
South Carolina was able to keep pace this time around and turned a three point lead after the first quarter into nineteen in the middle of the second to never look back. Florida rallied before halftime, but trailed the Gamecocks 43-31 at the half.
Led by their bench in senior guards Carla Bachelor and Cassie Peoples, Florida held tough in the second half, outscoring South Carolina 18-16 in the third quarter to make it a ten point game heading into the final frame. The Gamecocks refused to give in and let Florida get closer as the two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the game until South Carolina was able to pull away late for the fifteen point victory.
Once again, South Carolina was led in scoring by Mitchell, Alaina Coates and A'ja Wilson, but they were supported all night from the rest of the team as nine different players logged at least three points. Coates was nearly perfect from the field, shooting 7/8 and logged another double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Gamecocks are back in action against the #25 Tennessee Volunteers Monday night at The Summitt. The regular season is now down to just five remaining games.