South Carolina’s offense was relatively quiet through their first quarter of play at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Greenville, Friday. But stifling defense sparked some easy looks and the points soon came pouring as if out of a faucet in a 89-56 quarterfinals victory over Georgia.
The Gamecocks didn’t do much from the perimeter, hitting on just 1 of 7 3-point attempts, but they decimated Georgia in the post. South Carolina scored 58 of its 89 points in the paint and won the rebounding battle 40-30. Aliyah Boston led the effort defensively with four blocks and 10 rebounds.
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan tallied a team-high 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting. Tyasha Harris (15), Lele Grissett (12 points), Victaria Saxton (11 points) and Destanni Harrison (10 points) joined Herbert Harrigan in double figures. Grissett, Henderson and Saxton drove South Carolina’s 40-17 advantage in bench points.
Georgia head coach Joni Taylor knew it was a tall task for her team, having already faced the Gamecocks during the regular season, “This is Dawn’s most complete team. They have bench players that could start almost anywhere. Their subs hurt us as much as their starters. You never get a break.”
South Carolina’s Dawn Staley knows the depth of this team is a key to its success, “Our bench players could start elsewhere, but they’ve accepted their role. They’re making an impact. They got 40 points. Because they embraced their role.”
South Carolina now awaits the winner of fourth-seeded Texas A&M and fifth-seeded Arkansas. The semifinal matchup will take place tomorrow at 5 p.m.
Dawn Staley is seeking her fifth SEC Tournament Championship to match her five regular season titles.