April 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

South Carolina advances to the Final Four with a win over Oregon State, continuing its undefeated season

South Carolina advances to the Final Four with a win over Oregon State, continuing its undefeated season

ALBANY, N.Y. — Guard Raven Johnson stood at halfcourt dribbling the game clock, seemingly the only player yet to begin celebrating South Carolina's 70-58 win over Oregon State.

Bree Hall and Tessa Johnson hugged and jumped in unison. The coaches hugged and huddled on the bench. Finally, the bell rang, and South Carolina could finally relax after booking its ticket to its fourth straight Final Four and sixth under coach Don Staley.

It was another balanced performance from the Gamecocks with absolute dominance in the paint – the hallmark of this undefeated season at South Carolina. Behind the performances of area player of the year Camila Cardoso (12 points, nine rebounds) and Ashlyn Watkins (14 rebounds, eight points), the Gamecocks outscored the Beavers 44-14 in the paint, including 28 second-chance points. With Oregon State seniors Raegan Beers (6-4) and Timea Gardiner (6-3) in early foul trouble — the duo committed three fouls each in the first half — the Gamecocks were able to build a strong lead from which Oregon State was never able To completely break the past.

The game opened up for the Gamecocks in the third quarter when they went on a 14-2 run and clamped down on defense, holding the Beavers scoreless for more than four minutes to extend the lead to as many as 14 points late in the third period. An early fourth-quarter stretch by Oregon State allowed the Beavers to cut South Carolina's lead to four, but the Gamecocks continued to respond and string together multiple points while Johnson scored seven of her team-high 15 points.

See also  After Willie Calhoun's last demotion, he's ready to leave the Rangers: ``I feel like I need a change of scenery.''

The win over the Beavers was a good test for the Gamecocks in holding off opponents late. On Friday in a Sweet 16 game against Indiana, after leading by as many as 22 points, the Gamecocks had to hold off the Hoosiers in the second half.

Required reading

(Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)