After much anticipation leading up to the undefeated fight, No. 1 South Carolina drops No. 3 LSU 88-64 to remain the only undefeated team in Division I basketball.
LSU suffered its first loss of the season, losing to 23-1; The Gamecocks are up 25-0, 12-0 in the SEC.
“They just want to win and they will do their part for that. going to happen,” coach Dawn Staley said. “It just clicks. They just respect each other, they hold each other accountable.”
The Gamecocks jumped to 18-2 starting to make an early statement. The Tigers fought back but couldn’t get over the hump.
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Kamilla Cardoso completed South Carolina with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Zia Cooke followed with 17 points, and Aliyah Boston added 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
Alexis Morris scored a game-high 23 points from 29 shooting. Angel Reese failed to achieve a 24th straight double-double on the back of an intense defensive effort by Brea Beal. Reese was held up to 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting and was nearly fouled with four fouls.
The nation’s best defense emerges and then some. South Carolina held the Tigers to 64 points, 18 below their season average.
The sold-out crowd of over 18,000 cheered in the defense clinic. As Beal hemmed the Tigers guard with nowhere to go but dribbling side to side over the arc, the fans roared. After Aliyah Boston trapped Reese in the paint, blocking an attempt that knocked Reese to the ground – which earned a standing ovation.
WHAT BLOCK BY ALIYAH BOSTON 😳 pic.twitter.com/KigsnoAF50
—ESPN (@espn) February 12, 2023
“Our fans, they are students of the game,” Staley said. “They understand how we create our success, and that forms the backbone of the defensive game.”
The Gamecock’s physique proved too much for LSU. South Carolina beat the Tigers 43-25, and scored 46 points to 38 points.
Last week, Staley’s men went to Connecticut and defeated No.4 UConn. In November, they fought then-No. 2 Stanford and won in overtime. South Carolina is now in a league of its own as the only undefeated team in DI basketball.
Hanging directly above the Gamecocks’ basket is their 2022 national championship banner. And like its banner, South Carolina’s performances this season stand above the rest.
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