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Monster Game Between #5 NC State Women’s Basketball and #1 South Carolina | Preview and How to Watch

Women's Basketball

Monster Game Between #5 NC State Women’s Basketball and #1 South Carolina | Preview and How to Watch

Monster Game Between #5 NC State Women’s Basketball and #1 South Carolina | Preview and How to Watch

NC State Wolfpack vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Historic Reynolds Coliseum
TV: ESPN

The time has come for the Wolfpack to make another run. And they couldn’t have started against a tougher opponent.

Tuesday afternoon in beautiful Reynolds Coliseum, State takes on the #1 team in the country, South Carolina. Both teams made noise in their conference last season. Both teams ended up one-seeds in the NCAAT. And both teams know each other very well.

Not only did they face off last year – State won – but South Carolina’s coach Dawn Staley spent the summer with Cunane and Brown-Turner with Team USA. Respect between both programs is high, but this game is going to get heated fast.

 

South Carolina Preview

The Gamecocks made a run into the Final Four last year, before falling to eventual National Champion, Stanford. When all was said and done, they finished with a 26-5 and wrapped up their fourth-straight SEC regular season title.

Here’s everybody that South Carolina lost from that Final Four team:

crickets…crickets…crickets…

That’s right, South Carolina is back and loaded. Between stud transfers and crazy good recruits, South Carolina, like State, has somehow improved on a great 2020 team. While recruits might not see as much time being the first game of the year, South Carolina brought in three top-10 recruits from the 2021 class.

Aliyah Boston had an incredible sophomore year. The 6′ 5″ forward averaged a double-double (13.7 pts | 11.5 rebs), and had a handful of triple-doubles. All that and South Carolina still had a better scoring option in Zia Cooke. Cooke averaged nearly 16 points per game and was deadly from three. Add an attacking guard in Henderson and contributions from just about everyone on the roster and this team will easily be a top-15 scoring offense in 2021.

Their biggest, literally, addition is former Syracuse center Kamilla Cardoso. This is directly where the battle tonight starts. She’s a VERY physical rebounding machine and was taking care of business against State in their February meeting before foul trouble had her on the bench for extended chunks. The fact that South Carolina has elite forwards and guards, now brings on a physical presence on the inside is absolutely scary.

 

Keys to a Wolfpack Win

  • Force Turnovers and Bad Shot Selection – South Carolina is one of the best scoring teams, but they have a problem from outside and turnovers. Last season, they ranked 69 in turnovers per game. Furthermore, they had one of the lowest 3-pt per game average in the nation. With Johnson, Crutchfield, Perez and company, State needs to get South Carolina moving the ball on the outside and force their hand from deep. If the Gamecocks start driving the ball and being physical, it’ll be a long game.
  • Energy on Offense – When State struggled last season offensively, they stood still and lacked all kind of energy. Perez would be at the top of the key, Cunane down low, and everyone just hanging out. Each one of them shoots well and can be a distributor, they just need to get moving and rotate for openings. This game will be an absolute battle of attrition. Giving South Carolina a breather on defense, will only hurt State on the other side of the floor.
  • Sweet Home Reynolds – Would hope and pray that Reynolds is BOUNCING this afternoon. State was undefeated at home in 2020-21. They found ways to win close (against Louisville) and ways to absolutely separate themselves from the competition (UNC, Pitt, etc). Weather the storm of South Carolina and don’t let up in the second half.

 

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