WBB Preview: SEC Tournament, Game 2

The South Carolina women's basketball team will try and make history Friday when they take on Georgia in the second round of the SEC Tournament. The Gamecocks have never made it past the second round and into the semifinals. Carolina defeated Ole Miss, 62-50, to advance to Friday to take on the Lady Dawgs. The two teams split the two regular season meetings.

Date: Friday, March 4, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Arena: Bridgestone Arena (17,576)
Georgia Series: UGA leads 30-6; In Columbia: UGA leads 13-3; In Athens: UGA leads 14-2; At Neutral Site: UGA leads 3-1
TV: FSN (Dave Baker and LaChina Robinson)
Radio: WISW 1320 AM (Brad Muller and Marcy Girton)

Is the South Carolina women's basketball team one win away from an NCAA Tournament berth?

There are many skeptics that say no, but coach Dawn Staley believes it's a possibility. The Gamecocks (17-13) will face the Georgia Bulldogs Friday in the second round of the SEC Tournament. Backed by Ieasia Walker's 15 points and Markeshia Grant's 13, the Gamecocks picked up their first SEC Tournament victory since 2007 with a 62-50 win over Ole Miss Thursday in their first round game.

Before her team left for Nashville, Staley said that she believed 18 wins would put Carolina into serious consideration for the NCAA Tournament's selection committee, but it would take another complete effort from the Gamecocks to knock off the Lady Dawgs.

Friday's match-up will be the third meeting between South Carolina and Georgia, with the teams splitting the season series. In the conference opener for each team in Athens, the Gamecocks couldn't have gotten off to a worse start. Carolina was ice cold from the field in the first half, scoring just 17 points and trailing 40-17 at the break. Carolina turned up the pressure in the second half and got as close as seven points with just under six minutes to play before running out of gas and losing 61-51.

The second match-up in Columbia got off to a similar start for Carolina. The Gamecocks managed just one point in the game's first four minutes and managed only 25 points in the half. Fortunately for Carolina, Georgia didn't fare much better as the Gamecocks took a 25-23 lead into the locker room. After Porsha Phillips tied the game at 31-31 with 15:34 to play in the game, Courtney Newton hit the third of her five three pointers to give the Gamecocks a lead they would never relinquish. Carolina fought through several comeback attempts to hand Georgia their first conference loss of the season, 57-48.

If South Carolina hopes to reach the semifinals for the first time in school history they will have to shoot the ball as well as they did Thursday against the Rebels. If Carolina shoots as poorly as they did in the first half of the first match-up with Georgia, the Gamecocks will likely be headed back to Columbia with no chance of earning an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Thursday's Results

Game 1 - #8 Florida 68 #9 Arkansas 59
Game 2 - #7 LSU 60 #10 Alabama 36
Game 3 - #5 South Carolina 62 #12Ole Miss 50
Game 4 - #11 Mississippi State 49 #6 Auburn 47

Friday's Games

Game 5 - #1 Tennessee vs #8 Florida 1:00 P.M. FSN
Game 6 - #2 Kentucky vs #7 LSU 3:30 P.M. FSN
Game 7 - #4 Georgia vs #5 South Carolina 7:30 P.M. FSN
Game 8 - #3 Vanderbilt vs #11 Mississippi State 10:00 P.M. FSN

Saturday's Games

Game 9 - Game 5 winner vs Game 7 winner 4:00 P.M. ESPNU
Game 10 - Game 6 winner vs Game 8 winner 6:30 P.M. ESPNU

Sunday's Game
SEC Championship

Game 11 - Game 9 winner vs Game 10 winner 5:30 P.M. ESPN2

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories