The South Carolina women's basketball team leave Colonial Life Arena unscathed after the first two rounds of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Following a 36-point victory over the Jacksonville Dolphins, the Gamecocks capped off the weekend with a blowout 73-47 victory over the ninth seeded Kansas State Wildcats to advance to the Sweet 16.
Superstar forward A'ja Wilson picked up two fouls in the game's first two minutes, but two-time SEC Player of the Year Tiffany MItchell took over to led the Gamecocks on a swift 6-0 run early. South Carolina capitalized on four first quarter turnovers to take a five point lead after one, while Mitchell scored 16 of total 20 point in the first 20 minutes.
Some smooth ball movement on offense and a boost from the Gamecocks bench spurted a huge second quarter run that all but put the game away from good. Bianca Quevas and Asia Dozier sparked the offense from deep while Sarah Imoboviah provided some slick low post moves in absence of A'ja Wilson.
Center Brianna Lewis carried the offense most of the night for the Wildcats and at one point during the first half, allotting for 15 of Kansas State's first 24 points. But, she wasn't enough to keep pace with the Gamecocks, as South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell banked in a three to take a 43-26 lead into the break.
Alaina Coates got hot in the third, logging another double-double to finish for 14 point and 10 rebounds to help extend the Gamecocks lead to as much as 32 points in the second half. Once again, dominance down low and another stingy defensive effort were the recipe for success for South Carolina. The Gamecocks held another opponent under 50 points and tallied 47 rebounds and a 43.3 field goal percentage.
Mitchell and the other Gamecock seniors received one last ovation from the Gamecock faithful who've watched their team go 47-1 at home the past three years and A'ja Wilson reached the 1,000 point plateau in her Gamecock career.
The Gamecocks will now travel across the county to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the tournament's second weekend, eyeing a trip to the Final Four. South Carolina will take on four seed Syracuse Friday night.