The South Carolina women's basketball team are going back-to-back. With a 66-52 victory over Mississippi St. Sunday afternoon in the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament championship game, the Gamecocks can now call themselves back-to-back tournament champions.
A'ja Wilson led the charge inside Jacksonville's Veterans Memorial Arena with 19 points and 13 rebounds as #3 South Carolina took down the sixteen ranked Bulldogs for the second time this season. Tiffany Mitchell pitched in with 19 points herself and Khadijah Sessions added 11 more.
The game got off to an even start after the first quarter, but South Carolina took over late in the second during an 11-0 run to close the half to take a 33-21 lead into the locker room. Led by Bianca Cuavas, the Gamecocks turned up the pressure defensively to force multiple Bulldog turnover's as the half came to an end.
The Gamecocks grew their lead to as much as 15 throughout the third until Victoria Vivians started heating up to help Mississippi St. get the lead down to 10. Vivians finished with 26 even against double-teams and face-guarding all game, a day after dropping 30 on Tennessee in the semi-finals.
South Carolina responded with a run of their own, holding their lead for the entire second half.
Today was just the second time South Carolina appeared in the women's final, making it last year. The Gamecocks are 2-2 thus far. In their three tournament games this year, the Gamecocks outscored their opponents by a combined 53 points.
Senior Tiffany Mitchell was named Tournament MVP as both her and A'ja Wilson were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The 31-1 (16-0) Gamecocks will head back to Columbia in anticipation of earning a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and a chance to host the first weekend.