The South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team took care of business on Friday night, winning their opening matchup of the NCAA Tournament, 63-52, over the North Carolina A&T Aggies.
USC had to shake off some rust, playing for the first time in 12 days following their SEC Tournament Championship victory on March 4th.
After starting with a 15-3 burst to begin the game, the Gamecocks had a pair of stretches in the first 20 minutes where they did not hit a field goal for more than three minutes. USC hit on its last two possessions of the first half, however, building an 18-point lead by halftime.
North Carolina A&T wouldn’t go quietly, cutting the deficit to single-digits with less than five minutes to play in the game. South Carolina never allowed the Aggies to get within less than seven, as A’ja Wilson’s basket plus a foul put USC up 11 points with 42.3 to play.
A’ja Wilson produced despite a rocky day from the field, scoring 19 points and grabbing 16 rebounds on 6-of-15 shooting. Bianca Jackson added 16 points with 3-of-5 from beyond three.
Head Coach Dawn Staley recognized the inconsistent play, saying the Gamecocks would have to play better to advance out of the Columbia pot:
USC Players Postgame Press Conference (A’ja Wilson & Bianca Jackson)
South Carolina will face the Virginia Cavaliers, who defeated California, 68-62, in Friday’s opening matchup in Columbia. Sunday’s round-of-32 matchup tips off at 9 PM.