South Carolina jumped out to a 16-0 lead and ended Quinnipiac’s hopes for an upset early on as they soared to a 100-56 victory over the Bobcats in the Stockton regional semifinal, their highest offensive performance this season. After a disappointing end to their season in last year’s Sweet 16 against eventual national runner-up Syracuse, they’re in the Elite Eight for the second time in three seasons.
Three quick thoughts from a solid performance from the #1 seed:
- The shots weren’t falling at all for Quinnipiac as the Gamecocks rattled off the first 16 points of the game to build a large advantage right out of the gate. In fact, the Bobcats’ first points came with 2:51 left in the first on a pair of free throws by Jen Fay, and their first field goal came with right around the 2:30 mark on Sarah Shewan’s three-pointer. The quick start was all the Gamecocks needed as despite a much more even second, the Bobcats were unable to overcome the sizable deficit and allowed South Carolina’s advantage to open up to as much as 45 in the fourth quarter.
- The big three were clicking on all cylinders in the first half. A’ja Wilson (16), Kaela Davis 13) and Allisha Gray (12) combined for 41 of the Gamecocks’ first half points and teamed up to go 13-24 from the field in the opening 20 minutes. Davis, meanwhile, had probably best shooting performance of the year: 5-6 from three, 9-13 from the field, and 28 points. Wilson and Gray ended with 24 and 19, respectively.
- The Gamecocks’ size was no match for Quinnipiac, as expected. South Carolina completed a game with a big +17 edge on the glass (35-18) as the Bobcats couldn’t handle the height that was thrown their way. Carolina will need to keep that intensity flowing into a tough matchup in the the regional final.
Next up: (3) Florida State, Monday at 9pm ET. The winner advances to the Women’s Final Four in Dallas.