Seniors forge wining program at South Carolina


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Ashley Bruner remembers the punishing runs most of all from her earliest days with South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.

The Gamecocks senior forward says her freshman year was a sustained series of team disciplines for not following rules or giving effort the way Staley expected.

These days, the Gamecocks most experienced players are building a legacy of success they hope to continue in their second-straight NCAA tournament. Fourth-seeded South Carolina (24-7) opens play against South Dakota State (25-7) in Boulder, Colo., as part of the tournament's Norfolk Regional.

South Carolina advanced to the round of 16 a year ago, winning at Purdue to get there. The Gamecocks could face a similar hurdle this year with host Colorado.

But it's nothing like the obstacles Bruner recalls her first couple of seasons.

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