In the world of chess, a well-known opening is the “French defence,” achieved by a move with the King’s pawn toward the center of the board. The French spectators in attendance for no. 6 South Carolina’s 100-71 victory over tenth-ranked Notre Dame in Paris, France, Monday, got a good look at Dawn Staley’s version of the “Gamecocks offense,” achieved by setting up center Kamilla Cardoso with a series of lobs, bounce passes and post-feeds. Cardoso dominated in the paint, finishing with 20 points and 15 rebounds on 9 of 14 shooting.
USC recorded 29 assists and three Gamecocks posted six assists or more. South Carolina’s depth also played a major factor as the Gamecocks bench outscored Notre Dame’s bench 41-12. Notre Dame led 25-24 after the first quarter, but USC’s defense clamped down and held the Irish to eight points in the second quarter and 16 points in the third. It was the Irish’s most-lopsided defeat in a season-opener.
Notre Dame held its own from the perimeter, but the Gamecocks dominated around the basket, outscoring the Irish 70-22 in the paint. MiLaysia Fulwiley (17 points, 6 assists), Te-Hina Paopao (14 points, 6 assists), Sania Feagin (12 points) and Raven Johnson (11 points, 7 assists) joined Cardoso in double figures. Fulwiley was especially impressive in her debut, darting and spinning down court and finding teammates with no-look passes.
South Carolina will host Maryland at 1 p.m., Sunday, in the Gamecocks home opener.