MSU falls to SC in SEC final

Caroline Beck
March 6, 2017

No. 1 seed South Carolina and No. 2 seed Mississippi State play for the SEC Women's' Basketball Tournament Championship today at 2 p.m. CT at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.

Every Gamecock able to play in the game recorded at least five minutes with seven of the 10 scoring at least four points.

Both teams have easily dispatched their opponents throughout the tournament with SC defeating Georgia 72-48 and Kentucky 89-77 and Mississippi State defeating LSU 78-61 and Texas A&M 66-50. We just have to come out and play the way we've been playing.

SC coach Dawn Staley said she thinks Coates is battling the injury mentally as well as physically, because she previously hasn't had to deal very much with being hurt. Morgan William, who dropped 14 points, worked with McCown to take over the third quarter. Rice played hard the entire game, even when she was in foul trouble late.

The lead shrunk to two before the Gamecocks woke, getting the ball to Wilson and tightening the defense. Herbert Harrigan scored a career-high 17 points, 14 in the first half, and was nearly ideal from the field.

USC extended the lead, surviving a scary moment when Coates planted her right foot and her tender ankle again buckled, leading to her removal from the game. Coates suffered an ankle injury Feb. 19 against Missouri, missed the Feb. 23 game at Texas A&M, then played 27 minutes in a senior day victory over Kentucky on Feb. 26. "We let that affect how we played on the defensive end of the floor". "We're just going to prep the players that are able-bodied to get ready to win another SEC tournament championship". Tennessee, though, accomplished it twice.

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"I thought we came out of the gates ready to rock and roll, pushing the pace, not allowing to play at the pace that they had been successful playing against us", SC coach Dawn Staley said.

The fourth and final period was all Gamecocks.

Teaira McCowan had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead Mississippi State.

Mississippi State will await its NCAA Tournament bid.

But Sunday, it will be conference pride that will be on the line, because this tournament means a great deal to both schools. "To be here and so close to it, it's exciting".

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