We knew it was going to be a long shot. South Carolina came into this one with one loss all season, to top-ranked UConn (a game they lost by only 12 points). The Lady Gamecocks are GOOD, talented and well coached. And, thanks to NCAA venue procedure for women's basketball, they even get to play at home. So the deck was already stacked.
That K-State was only down by five at the end of the first quarter was actually fairly impressive. The Gamecocks came out and locked down Kindred Wesemann. The All-Big 12 Second Team selection is not just one of K-State's two best players, she's also the engine that drives the Wildcat's car. Luckily, Bre Lewis scored 6 points and the Cats shot 40% from the field in the first quarter.
But things started to quickly fall apart from there. The Wildcats went cold and started getting broken-down on defense, and by halftime the Gamecocks had pushed the lead to 19, 26-45, behind a dominating 13-27 second quarter performance.
And it only got worse after halftime. By the end of the 3rd quarter the Cats had fallen to 33% from the field, and %16 from behind the arc, while South Carolina was hitting at nearly 50% from the floor.
The fourth quarter wasn't nearly so lopsided when taken by itself, but USC HC Dawn Staley started pulling her seniors with seven minutes left in the game. The Gamecocks stretched their lead past 30, every Gamecock who saw the floor for actual game minutes scored at least one basket, before they took their foot off the gas and the Cats closed to finish the game within 26. Bre Lewis got hers, scoring 21 and grabbing nine rebounds, but no other Wildcat even sniffed double-digits in the blow-out loss to end the Wildcats season.
The Gamecocks bettered the Wildcats in every statistical category except one, free-throw shooting percentage. The Cats shot 69% from the charity stripe to the Gamecocks 58%.
The Cats shot poorly after the first quarter, finishing the game shooting 32% from the field and 14% from behind the arc. Cats couldn't even hit wide-open layups.
Player Of The Game: Breanna Lewis
Bre Lewis looked like a First Team All-Big 12 selection on the court, it's just too bad she couldn't get any help. Bre accounted for nearly half of her team's points, and nearly a third of the rebounds. And she's only a junior, so we get another whole year with her.
Other Notable Performances
Playing in her final game in Columbia, Tiffany Mitchell put up 20 points, dished 3 assists, grabbed four boards, and recorded four steals on the evening. Junior Alania Coates snagged a double-double for the Gamecocks with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Off-season for the Wildcats. This squad should be LOADED next year, losing only three seniors while returning both All-Big 12 selections in Breanna Lewis and Kindred Wesemann. Joining the Wildcats next season is Eternati Willock, #1 player from Canada and #33 player overall, who should provide immediate impact for the Wildcats next season. You can read Jon Morse's profile of her recruitment from earlier this year.