Tuesday night was the second round of the NCAA Women’s basketball tournament for Oregon State and South Carolina. South Carolina was in the driver’s seat the whole game, controlling the majority of the plays. When the clock winded down, South Carolina proved they deserved the first seed and defeated Oregon State 59-42.
The opening quarter was a close battle between the two groups. There was never more than a 2-point gap, keeping the game interesting and exciting. Oregon State got up on South Carolina a couple of times, but the ball continued to go back and forth. For the most part, South Carolina was usually on top and remained there at the end of the quarter.
Heading into the second quarter of play, things looked as if they would stay the same. While it remained that way for a bit, this is where South Carolina got their spark. Just under 6 minutes of play were left when Aliyah Boston (South Carolina) made a free throw. This was the first time in the match one of the teams was up by more than 2 points, now leading by 3. Now, South Carolina began to dominate. Points kept coming in their direction, and the defense held Oregon State at a stagnate 16 points for over 6 minutes. Meanwhile, South Carolina started taking chances and, by halftime, put 30 points on the scoreboard against Oregon State’s 18.
After that point, South Carolina owned the court. They more than doubled Oregon State’s score in no time, not backing down from any opportunities. Offensively, they stepped up their game and were much more organized than Oregon State by far. Just as well, South Carolina’s defense rose to the occasion and earned multiple blocks, and forced sloppy shots.
South Carolina slowed down a bit in the final quarter of play, however. Fewer shots were taken, and the defense eased up, allowing their opponent to start having a comeback. Just under 7 minutes were remaining in the game when the whole thing came to a standstill. No points were scored for over 3 minutes, both teams looking tired and gassed. Fortunately for South Carolina, they had done enough to get the job done and walked off the court in victory.
Boston earned 19 points, making her South Carolina’s top scorer of the night. She also put up 6 field goals and 7 free throws. Destanni Henderson wasn’t far off her with 12 points. Henderson played almost the entire game, only off the court for 5 minutes. The Guard also completed 5 field goals and obtained a pair of rebounds to help her team.
Forward Taylor Jones was Oregon State’s go-to player of the game, getting 13 points for herself. Jones managed to earn 6 field goals and 4 rebounds. Aleah Goodman played the most minutes for Oregon State at 37 and acquired 10 points.
South Carolina moves on to the Sweet 16 round of the tournament to take on 5th seeded Georgia Tech. This game will be played on Saturday, March 27th. Currently, the time of the match is undetermined.