Sharp Shooting Delivers 68-40 Win Over Presbyterian
Dec. 28, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Hot shooting and aggressive defense led South Carolina to a 68-40 win over Presbyterian Tuesday night in women's basketball action at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks (7-5) shot 52.1 percent from the field and forced 22 Blue Hose turnovers en route to their fifth win in the last six outings. The backcourt led the scoring, but the offensive output was balanced as every Gamecock in the game found the scoring column. Ieasia Walker led the way with 15 points, while La'Keisha Sutton found her shot with a 6-of-6 night that led to 13 points.
The Gamecocks picked up 11 steals on the night and turned Presbyterian's 22 turnovers into 22 points, including 14 fastbreak points. Defensively, South Carolina limited the Blue Hose to 34.8 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent in the second half.
The Gamecocks used an 11-2 run right out of the gate to establish their lead and their transition game. Samone Kennedy buried a driving layup 10 seconds into the game to set the tone as South Carolina attacked the Blue Hose interior throughout the game. After Shonda Burnside drove the baseline to tie the score, the Gamecocks rattled off the next nine points. Walker hit a baseline jumper to kick off the run, but it was all frontcourt scoring after that. Jewel May took a feed from Valerie Nainima to hit a bucket on the right block, and Ashley Bruner hit a free throw and a transition layup. Charenee Stephens closed the spurt with a transition layup for an 11-2 South Carolina lead just over five minutes into the contest.
The Gamecocks continued their defensive pressure, stretching their lead to as many as 14 points. Trailing 24-10, Presbyterian fought back with a 7-0 surge. Olivia Towers-Solis hit a short jumper, and Amanda Mills turned a steal into a layup to bring the Blue Hose within 10. Kristen Stevens hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to bring her team within 24-17 with 5:21 left in the half.
The teams traded baskets, but South Carolina reasserted itself with the next six points. Bruner hit a layup from the left block, Sutton swiped a steal and hit a layup, and Walker added a free throw. Dria David hit a driving layup late to send the team to their locker rooms with a 32-21 South Carolina advantage.
The Gamecocks came out firing from long range in the second half. Sutton kicked things off with a 3-pointer from the right wing, and Walker followed it with one from nearly the exact spot. Stephens hit a mid-range jumper, and Walker capped the 11-0 spurt with a 3 from the right sideline. From there, South Carolina kept up the pressure and did not allow the Blue Hose within 20 points for the remainder of the game.
Sutton was active on all ends of the court as she added five assists and four steals to her point total. Strickland rounded out the Gamecocks in double figures with 10 points.
South Carolina closes out its non-conference schedule on Thu., Dec. 30, with a 7 p.m. game at Colonial Life Arena against South Carolina State.