The South Carolina women's basketball team knew it was going to be a special day when they stepped on to the floor in Colonial Life Arena Sunday afternoon. Dawn Staley and the entire athletic program celebrated the most accomplished women ever take to a basketball court in Columbia during Senior Day this afternoon.
The foundation for the program's unprecedented success and rise as one of the nation's top women's basketball programs, the 2016 class of seniors led the Gamecocks to a 75-39 victory over LSU inside the CLA. The victory gave South Carolina's senior class 116 total wins in the past four years, the most in program history. It also put in stone the Gamecocks 16-0 conference record, as they became just the second team in the SEC to do so (Tennessee, 2011).
Tiffany Mitchell led the way, putting in 24 points to lead all scorers. Mitchell's performance moved her up to #5 on the Gamecocks scoring list, reaching 1,793 career points. Dawn Staley started all five of the team's seniors. Guard Tina Roy logged 9 points, on a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc.
The Gamecocks were also led by stars A'ja Wilson and Alaina Coates. Wilson logged 14 points, with Coates adding on another 10.
LSU held tough in the first quarter to keep it a 6 point game heading into the second, but a 24-8 run, started by a Bianca Cuevas three at the buzzer to end the first, fueled South Carolina past the overmatched Tigers to take a commanding 38-19 lead into halftime.
The Gamecocks coasted in the second half as LSU struggled all day to get points on the board as they finished the day with just 13 made field goal attempts on 29% percent shooting. LSU held there own on the glass and from the free throw line, but South Carolina was just hot from the field. The Gamecocks ended the game making more than half their shots.
The victory cemented an otherwise perfect season, aside from their lone loss to UConn. South Carolina finished the regular season at 26-1 overall and a perfect 16-0 conference record. The Gamecock seniors were able to put one last record in the books setting a 45-3 three-year conference record. The best ever in the SEC.
Congrats ladies! On to Jacksonville.