Gamecocks Hold Off Auburn, 73-66
AUBURN, Ala. – No. 14/15 South Carolina women’s basketball took care of business in the fourth quarter to take down Auburn 73-66 on the road Thursday night. The Gamecocks (21-7, 13-2 SEC) exploded in the fourth quarter with junior forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan leading the way with 12 of the team’s 28 points in the period.
Herbert Harrigan finished with a team-high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and added five rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench. Alexis Jennings notched her fourth double-double of the season by scoring 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. Tyasha Harris matched Jennings’ double-double with one of her own, scoring 14 points and handing out 10 assists while also contributing five big boards. Doniyah Cliney finished in double figures for the second-straight game with 11 points and also snagged eight rebounds for the Gamecocks.
Carolina got off to a hot start, connecting on five of its first six shots to take a 10-0 lead early. Both Cliney and Jennings sank two shots during the opening run to pace the Gamecocks. Cliney went on to score seven of her 11 points in the quarter, including an and-one with 2:06 to go in the period to take a 18-6 lead. Carolina ended the quarter with a double-digit lead at 18-8.
The second quarter started slow for both teams, with just four points for each team in the first 4:30. The scoring ramped up when Bianca Cuevas-Moore sank her second three of the game with 5:30 to go to take a 25-12 lead. Carolina used an 8-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at that point at 32-18 with 1:48 to go, but Auburn ripped off the final six points off the half to cut the lead to just nine.
Auburn made a few runs in the third quarter, starting off with five straight points to begin the second half and pull within four. Jennings scored an and-one with 7:16 to go and went on to score seven points in the quarter to keep Carolina in front. Auburn stuck around, scoring eight of the final 10 points of the quarter to head into the final 10 minutes down 45-42.
The fourth quarter saw Auburn knot the score at 47 with 7:43 to go on an and-one. The Tigers took the lead for a moment, but Carolina sank back-to-back and-ones by Herbert Harrigan and Harris during a 12-0 run to retake the lead at 60-50 with 4:24 to go. That 12-0 run stretched out to a 15-2 surge, led by Herbert Harrigan who scored 12 points in the period. Harris made eight clutch free throws throughout the quarter and scored 10 points of her own in the fourth to help take down Auburn 73-66.
During Carolina’s 12-0 fourth-quarter run to take back the lead, the Gamecocks scored all four field goals from inside the paint and made all four free throw attempts.
Carolina controlled the glass, outrebounding the Tigers 24-10 in the first half and finished the game with a 43-29 advantage that led to 14 second-chance points.
- With her first assist of the game, Harris passed Cristina Ciocan (2001-04) to become Carolina’s all-time leader in assists in SEC games.
- Harris passed out double digit assists for the third time in four games and now has all three of her double doubles this season in the last four games.
- With the win, the Gamecocks have now defeated Auburn nine times in a row dating back to 2012.
- The Gamecocks stayed aggressive all night, leading to 30 free throw attempts, the most during SEC play for Carolina this season.
- Auburn finished the night shooting 34.4 percent from the field, moving Carolina’s record to 16-0 when its opponent shoots under 40.0 percent from the floor and 9-0 in SEC play.
The Gamecocks (21-7, 13-2 SEC) end the regular season hosting Senior Day on Sun., March 3, against #5/5 Mississippi State with a chance at a share of the SEC regular-season championship. The game is set to tip at Colonial Life Arena at 2 p.m. on ESPN2. Senior Day presentations will begin at approximately 1:30 p.m.