Facing No. 1 South Carolina for the second time this season, Ole Miss was unable to push past the undefeated Gamecocks in the SEC Tournament Semifinals from Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Saturday, falling 80-51.
Ole Miss (23-8, 11-5 SEC) could not overcome the strength of South Carolina (31-0, 16-0 SEC) to hand the Gamecocks its lone loss of the season. After falling behind in the first quarter, the Rebels could not make up enough ground to comeback for a win.
For the fourth straight game, Madison Scott finished in double figures with a team leading 15 points. Angel Baker led the Rebels off the boards with nine rebounds, while Myah Taylor dished out a team-leading five assists. Draining a career-high in triples was Tyia Singleton, finishing with nine points off of three threes.
A tower around the rim, Rita Igbokwe began the game with her first of five blocks on the opening possession. Baker scored the Rebels’ first points of the day off a smooth jumper, before South Carolina took command off a 7-0 run. A shooting slump hit the Rebels, as it seemed as if there was a lid on the basket towards the end of the first. Coming out of a timeout, a triple from Elauna Eatonfollowed by another from Singleton closed the gap to six. The Gamecocks used their size in the paint to their advantage to take a 25-14 lead through the first 10.
Hitting her second triple of the game for a new career-high, Singleton’s use of the long ball worked to get Ole Miss back within striking distance of South Carolina. The Rebels held the Gamecocks from extending its lead for over two minutes, yet South Carolina led Ole Miss 40-25 at the break.
Madison Scott came alive in the third quarter with five points to work to cut the Gamecock lead. South Carolina’s shooting remained strong, holding a 58-39 lead.
Scott continued to battle, working on the inside to keep the offense moving for the Rebels. However, South Carolina took off on a 12-0 run in the closing minutes to close out Ole Miss, 80-51.
Ole Miss will wait over a week to hear its name called until Selection Sunday (March 12) where the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball March Madness bracket will be unveiled during the selection show at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports