WBB: South Carolina holds off Purdue in Double OT
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
South Carolina came back from last-minute deficits in the fourth quarter and first overtime to beat Purdue 82-73 in double overtime.
The Gamecocks easily handled Purdue in the second overtime, running past a worn down Boilermaker team for a comfortable final margin. But getting there was an adventure that required a 57 percent free throw shooter to to be perfect and a shooter who had missed just once all season to miss twice.
An entire game played out in the final 46 seconds of the first overtime. Purdue’s Karissa McLaughlin, a 96 percent free throw shooter who entered the game having missed just one free throw all season, but had missed another earlier in the game, drew a foul and went to the line to break a 62-62 tie. She made the first. Then a whistle blew. Dawn Staley had been issued a technical foul for leaving the coach’s box (or perhaps saying something when she did). Staley continued to argue as McLaughlin sank three more free throws, giving Purdue a two-possession lead. Tyasha Harris made a pair of free throws for South Carolina, and then McLaughlin went back to the line to ice the game. But she missed the second free throw and South Carolina had a chance. With time running out, Harris missed a straightaway three, but Mikiah Herbert Harrigan grabbed the offensive rebound and swung it to Bianca Jackson, who was fouled as she put up a prayer with less than two seconds to play. Jackson calmly sank all three free throws to send the game to another overtime.
The Gamecocks needed more heroics from Jackson just to get to the first overtime. Both teams struggled offensively in the first three quarters, and a 9-2 run late in the second quarter plus a 7-0 run early in the third gave the Gamecocks a 10-point lead, and they held what seemed like a comfortable 39-31 lead at the media timeout. But the Gamecocks didn’t score again after taking that lead, and the Boilermakers finished the quarter on an 11-0 run to take a lead into the fourth.
South Carolina came back to tie the game at 44, but then Purdue scored seven straight and seemed in complete control. Staley called a timeout, and Jackson and Herbert Harrigan took control. Herbert Harrigan scored eight points during a regulation-ending, game-tying 11-4 run, with the other three coming on a clutch shot from Jackson as both players made game-tying baskets in the final minute.
Herbert Harrigan was sensational in the second half and overtime, willing the Gamecocks back and then icing the game in the second overtime with a block. She finished with a season-high 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, plus four assists and two blocks. She had a double-double in the second half and overtimes alone, with 14 points and ten rebounds. She worked a familiar high-low game with Alexis Jennings, taking advantage when Purdue’s best - and only reliable - post player, Ae’Rianna Harris, fouled out.
Jennings was equally effective, scoring a season-high 19 to go with seven rebounds and three steals, and drawing Harris fifth foul. Jackson, meanwhile, tied her season-high with 14 points.
Just to add to how strange the game was, South Carolina was perfect from the free throw line after halftime. A team that entered the game shooting just 68 percent, South Carolina was 2-2 in both the third and fourth quarters, and then 8-8 in the first overtime, including Jackson’s three to tie the game, and 7-7 in the second overtime to put the game away.
Staley changed the starting lineup again, going with Harris, Herbert Harrigan, Jennings, Nelly Perry, and Destani Henderson. Perry and Henderson got their first starts of the season, replacing Doniyah Cliney and Te’a Cooper, who had started the first nine games. … Cooper struggled, scoring just two points in 17 minutes. … South Carolina finished the game shooting 85 percent from the line. Purdue shot 79 percent. … Purdue held a rebounding advantage for most of the game, but South Carolina dominated the glass in the overtimes, again, after Harris fouled out, to finish with a 39-38 advantage. … South Carolina turned the ball over 16 times, but forced 25 Purdue turnovers, scoring 25 points off. … Ty Harris had 14 points and seven assists in her return to her home state of Indiana. Bianca Cuevas-Moore had five steals in a season-high 28 minutes. … McLaughlin led Purdue with 25 points. Dominique Oden added 19 points and 10 rebounds. … South Carolina’s next game is December 21 against Temple.