COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The LSU women’s basketball team closed out their regular season with a 75-39 loss to the No. 3/2 South Carolina Gamecocks here at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C., Sunday afternoon.
LSU fell to 9-20 overall; 3-13 in the SEC, with the loss while South Carolina remained an undefeated 16-0 in the league and 28-1 on the year. The Gamecocks’ only loss this season was to the UConn Huskies.
For the second-straight game, the Lady Tigers struggled defending the long ball. South Carolina hit 10 three-pointers, shooting 48 percent (10-21) from beyond the arc. In LSU’s last game, Florida hit 11 treys and LSU missed both of its attempts from behind the arc. The Lady Tigers were 2-of-3 from three-point range today, with Rina Hill hitting both treys for LSU.
Sophomore Jenna Deemer, LSU’s top outside scoring threat, was not in uniform for today’s game. She returned from a nine-game absence with an illness on Feb. 18 against Texas A&M but two games later against Florida, she played just nine minutes because of issues related to the illness.
Hill led the Lady Tigers with 16 points off a 6-of-14 effort from the field and a 2-of-2 mark from both the free-throw line and three-point range. Alexis Hyder also scored in double figures with 10 points. She has scored in double figures in 19 games this season. Shanice Norton chipped in six points while Anne Pedersen added four points. Alliyah Fareo and Akilah Bethel contributed two points and one point, respectively.
LSU shot 29 percent (13-45) from the field and was 11-of-14 from the free-throw line. South Carolina shot 51 percent (22-43) from the field and was 21-of-27 from the charity stripe. USC scored 27 points off 20 LSU turnovers and scored 22 points in the paint to LSU’s 14.
Tiffany Mitchell led South Carolina with 24 points. A’ja Wilson scored 14 and Alaina Coates added 10 points. Wilson also led the Gamecocks with seven rebounds.
The Lady Tigers kept the game close in the first quarter, going into the second period down by just six, 14-8. It took until the 6:43 mark in the second quarter, with LSU down just 14-11, for USC to hit their first basket, but then they used a 20-4 run to pull away.
South Carolina took a commanding 38-19 lead into the locker room at the half after outscoring LSU, 24-11, in the second quarter. The Gamecocks scored half of their points in the second period off three-pointers, going 4-of-6 from behind the arc. LSU shot 5-of-19 from the field in the first half, while USC was 11-of-22, including a 6-of-12 mark from three-point range. LSU scored nine of their 19 points off free throws, going 9-of-10 from the line and South Carolina was 10-of-13 from the charity stripe. LSU did hold a one-rebound advantage, 14-13, in the first half.
South Carolina outscored LSU, 18-6, in the third quarter after holding the Lady Tigers to a 2-of-15 (13 percent) mark from the field. LSU had a scoring drought of 8:12 before Alliyah Fareo hit a layup at the third-quarter buzzer. LSU scored its highest points of the game, 14, in the fourth quarter, but was outscored 19-14 in the loss.
The Lady Tigers will have a quick turnaround upon returning from Columbia Sunday. LSU will be a No. 13 seed for the SEC Tournament, which will be played at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., March 2-6. As the No. 13 seed, the Lady Tigers will face the No. 12 seed, which could potentially be Alabama or Vanderbilt. LSU’s first game would be at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, and the game will be carried live by the SEC Network. Tickets are available through the Ticketmaster website or by phone at 800-745-3000. The full SEC Tournament bracket will be announced Sunday evening.
For all of the latest news and information on Lady Tiger basketball, visit www.LSUsports.net/womensbasketball. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/LSUwbkb, @LSUwbkb and @NikkiCaldwell on Twitter, @LSUwbkb and @LSUNikkiCaldwell on Instagram.