By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
COLUMBIA, SC: South Carolina would show LSU no love on Valentine's Day on Sunday as they would take down the Lady Tigers, 66-59 in Columbia. The top ranked Gamecocks held a huge lead throughout the majority of the contest before LSU would scratch and battle back late in the 4th quarter to pull to within shouting distance before time expired. Falling further under .500, at what point does Nikki Fargas find herself on the hot seat? .
The Lady Tigers would score the first two baskets of the ball game as they would take an early 4-0 lead. But that only seemed to wake the sleeping giant as the Gamecocks would go on a 12-0 run over the next five minutes.
LSU would battle back to cut the Carolina lead to five, 12-7 with 1:44 left in the first quarter after a Domonique Davis basket and a free throw by Khayla Pointer.
The Lady Cocks would answer with a 5-0 run to end the first quarter with a 17-7 advantage.
We would go two minutes into the 2nd quarter before a point, as LSU's Jailin Cherry would finally score with 7:56 left to pull the Tigers to within eight, 17-9. The game pace would pick up over the next minute as both teams would trade baskets a few times with Carolina holding on to a 21-13.
South Carolina would then shift into another gear and start to pull away, going on a 6-0 run taking a 27-13 lead with 5:05 left in the first half.
The Lady Tigers refused to quit, but they were no match for the #1 ranked team in the nation as The Lady Cocks would control the rest of the 2nd quarter to take a 34-22 halftime lead.
Over the first two minutes of the 3rd quarter LSU would play with energy and hustle as they
would outscore Carolina 4-2 cutting the lead to nine, 35-26 with 8:13 to go. However, the Lady Tigers could pull no closer.
The Gamecocks would again find an extra gear, controlling the rest of the 3rd quarter, leading by as much as 18, before finishing the quarter holding a commanding 54-38 lead.
Things weren't looking good for LSU to start the final period of what had been so far a one-sided contest. But the Lady Tigers would keep fighting, scratching, and clawing as they would begin to chip away at Carolina's huge lead. With 1:33 left in the game, LSU had cut the lead to nine, 62-53, before going on a quick 6-2 run over the next minute to pull to within five, 64-59 with :24 ticks left on the clock. Unfortunately the Lady Tigers would run out of time as South Carolina would hold on for the win, 66-59.
Jailin Cherry would lead the Tigers with 19 points, while Faustine Aifuwa would record a double-double with 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Khayla Pointer would also add 11 points on the day.
With the loss, LSU now sits at 8-10 overall while falling to 4-4 in SEC play. Next up is a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to take on the Wildcats on Thursday, Feb. 18that 6:00pm.
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