Walker Carries Gamecocks Past Clemson 73-59
Nov. 18, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina dominated the first half and was steady in the second en route to a 73-59 win over in-state rival Clemson. The Gamecock offense, sparked by an aggressive defense, was clicking on all cylinders, but none was more powerful that sophomore Ieasia Walker, who sailed past her previous career high with 30 points on 13-of-19 shooting.
South Carolina forced turnover after turnover in an inspired first half that saw the Gamecocks score 14 points on 11 Tiger turnovers. Walker netted 18 of her points in the first half, tying her previous single-game career high in just half the time.
The Gamecocks exploded out of the gate to a 6-0 lead but saw the Tigers got on an 11-2 rally, capped by a 3-pointer from Shaniqua Pauldo with 12:31 left in the half. South Carolina responded with a 15-4 surge that included 11 points from Walker. She opened with a pull up jumper then stuck a layup off a steal by Markeshia Grant to put the Gamecocks back on top 12-11. Marah Strickland hit a jump shot to push to a three-point margin before the Tigers stopped the surge with a 3-pointer from Kirstyn Wright.
A Pauldo free throw put Clemson back in front 15-14 with just under eight minutes to play, but Walker again went to work. A long jumper from the left wing gave the Gamecocks another lead, one they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. Jewel May put back an offensive rebound, and Walker netted the next five points to put South Carolina up 23-15 with 5:22 left in the half. La'Keisha Sutton thwarted a potential Clemson comeback with back-to-back buckets, and the Gamecocks took a 32-23 lead into the locker room at the half.
South Carolina added 41 points in the second half and consistently stymied the Tigers whenever they looked like they might make a run. The Gamecock lead hovered around 15 points for most of the period as the floor opened up and South Carolina ran for easy transition baskets at every opportunity.
The Gamecocks won the battle of the boards for the third time in as many games, out-rebounding Clemson 37-35, including 14 offensive boards that turned into 28 second-chance points. The team's 16 fast break points matched the combined total from the previous two games this season, and 10 steals was the high water mark through the first three games.
Walker became the Gamecocks' first 30-point scorer since last year's double-overtime battle at Clemson. She was perfect from behind the 3-point line (2-of-2) and from the free throw line (2-of-2). Strickland added nine points, while Sutton and May kicked in eight apiece to go with their matching team-high six rebounds.
South Carolina plays its next three game on the road, beginning on Sun., Nov. 21, at Penn State.