South Carolina blew out Louisville 83-59 in a battle between the nation's third- and fourth-ranked teams Sunday afternoon in Springfield, MA. Five players scored in double figures as the Gamecocks used a balanced attack to pull away in the second half.
Kaela Davis scored a quick seven points to start the game, but the Gamecocks soon went cold and trailed 20-18 after the first quarter. Foul trouble hampered both teams in the second quarter as the officials called 25 first half fouls. Davis and Allisha Gray both sat most of the first half with two fouls, taking away the Gamecocks' best shooters. That allowed Louisville to sag defensively and pack the lane against A'ja Wilson and Alaina Coates.
Louisville went more than 5:30 without a basket and South Carolina went more than 3:30. South Carolina regained its touch first and a slow 6-0 run (it took 2:30 to score six points)boosted South Carolina to a 37-29 halftime lead.
With Davis and Gray back on the court on the third quarter, South Carolina took over. The teams traded baskets and then South Carolina turned the game into a blowout with a 13-2 run. Davis hit back-to-back threes to start the run. She missed a heat check jumper, but Gray followed with a three-point play. Kylee Shook made a jumper for Louisville's only points during the stretch. Gray buried another three and then Coates capped the run with a pair of free throws.
The run put the Gamecocks up 53-34, and the lead would balloon to as much as 28 in the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks held the Cardinals to 38 percent shooting while making 45 percent of their shots. They outrebounded the Cardinals 46-29. Coates alone had almost half as many rebounds as the Cardinals, with 14.
Notes: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan had 11 points off the bench. ... Davis finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. ... Tyasha Harris had a career-high six assists. ... Wilson chipped in five rebounds and five assists. ... South Carolina returns to action December 1 at Texas.