By: USC Sports Media
No. 25/- South Carolina women's basketball took down Furman 66-53 at Colonial Life Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks (8-4) forced 20 Paladin turnovers and blocked 11 shots to end the 2018 calendar year with a win.
Alexis Jennings led the Gamecocks with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting while adding five rebounds. Destanni Henderson poured in 10 points, including a pair of 3s, in her third-straight start. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan had an efficient night shooting 4-of-5 from the floor, scoring eight points and blocking three shots.
Furman pulled within four points in the middle of the fourth quarter, but a 10-1 run to end the game, including five straight points from Jennings, helped the Gamecocks close out the pesky Paladins at home.
South Carolina used an 8-0 run to take control of the game early. Furman pushed back, scoring six of the last eight points in the first quarter to tie the game at 14.
The Paladins had a great first half shooting from Le'Jzae Davidson, who scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting to keep Furman in the game. The Gamecocks continued to pound the ball inside, scoring 18 of their 27 points in the paint. Jennings led the Gamecocks in the first half, scoring nine of her 19 points on 4-of-5 shooting, and grabbed a pair of rebounds. A South Carolina 9-0 run near the end of the first half cemented the 31-27 advantage at the break.
The second half started with a quick pair of buckets for the Garnet and Black, Henderson nailed a 3, and Jennings added a layup to extend the Gamecocks' lead to nine at 9:08 in the third quarter. The lead grew to as large as 12 with a 7-0 run in the quarter, but Furman used a run of its own to end the third quarter. The 8-2 surge cut the South Carolina lead to 47-40 heading into the final quarter.
QUOTABLE DAWN STALEY
"It's all health related for [Jennings]. She's getting more healthy. The fact that she is getting more healthy, she can do a lot more things out there on the floor. Her midrange looks nice and smooth and not rushed. When she gets it in close in the paint, she's automatic. When she gets two feet in the paint, she is pretty much automatic. She's either going to score or get fouled."
The Gamecocks (8-4) will bring in the New Year against #23/24 Texas A&M on the road on Thu., Jan. 3, at 9 p.m. to begin SEC play. Carolina returns home on Sun., Jan. 6, to take on Alabama at noon on ESPNU.