Lady Rebs fall to Gamecocks

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina outscored Ole Miss 20-11 over the final six minutes and converted on 10-of-12 free throws as the Gamecocks posted a 71-62 victory over the Lady Rebels Sunday afternoon at the Colonial Center.

South Carolina (13-11, 2-7 SEC) featured four players in double figures as guard Brionna Dickerson finished with a team-high 14 points. Freshman guard Jordan Jones and Ebony Jones added 12 points a piece, while forward Lakesha Tolliver chipped in with 10 points.

The Lady Rebels (9-13, 3-6 SEC) were led on the offensive end by junior center Shawn Goff's game-high 16 points to go along with a game-high three blocks. With her three blocked shots, Goff upped her season total to 53 swats, lifting her into third place on the school's single season blocked shots list.

Ole Miss senior forward Carla Bartee finished one rebound shy of a double-double as she finished the afternoon with 15 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Shantell Black finished with 14 points and a career-high seven steals, while Bianca Thomas registered 11 points to round out the Lady Rebel foursome in double figures.

In a game that featured 13 ties and eight lead changes, Ole Miss grabbed a two point lead seconds into the second half as Black drove the lane and converted on a layup to put the Lady Rebels ahead 29-27. Ole Miss remained either ahead or tied with South Carolina for the first five minutes before Jordan Jones hit a jumper at the 14:55 mark to give the Gamecocks their first lead since the 10:58 mark of the first half.

The Lady Rebels regained the lead on the following possession following a pair of free throws from Thomas, and continued to lead or fall behind by no more than one point over the next seven minutes. South Carolina built a three-point lead with 6:11 left in the second half, but Black answered with a three-pointer at the top of the key to even the score at 51-51. With the score tied at 53 points a piece, Bartee put Ole Miss ahead with two free throws, but Ebony Jones responded on the other end with a three-pointer to put the Gamecocks ahead for good. In fact, South Carolina closed the game on an 18-7 run en route to its second conference victory of the season.

For the game, Ole Miss finished with a 28-26 edge in points in the paint, while South Carolina held a slim 21-17 advantage in points off turnovers.

South Carolina and Ole Miss battled back and forth throughout the first half as neither team held more than a six point advantage. The Gamecocks sprinted out to a 9-3 lead in the first five minutes of the game, but Ole Miss responded with a 6-0 run to even the score at nine points apiece with just over 14 minutes remaining in the half.

The Gamecocks regained their lead by using a 5-0 run over the next three minutes, but just as it had done before, Ole Miss answered with an 8-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Thomas to take a 17-14 lead with just over nine minutes on the clock. Aside from three different times South Carolina tied the game, Ole Miss never relinquished the lead it built midway through the half.

The Gamecocks and Lady Rebels fared much the same in the first half as both teams finished with 12 points in the paint. In addition, South Carolina capitalized with 12 points off turnovers, while the Lady Rebels finished the half with 11 points off Gamecock miscues. The second chance points were also close as South Carolina held a 10-6 edge in that category.

Goff paced all scorers in the first half as she finished with 12 points to go along with three rebounds and three blocked shots.

Ole Miss returns to action Thursday when the Lady Rebels host in-state rival Mississippi State at 7:00 p.m. from Tad Smith Coliseum.

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