Gamecocks beat Vandy, snap skid

GoGamecocks staff reportsJanuary 22, 2012 

South Carolina Gamecocks guard La'Keisha Sutton (11) shoots over Vanderbilt Commodores guard Gabby Smith (32) during the second half of action Thursday night at the Colonial Life Arena. USC won 65-55.

TRACY GLANTZ — tglantz@thestate.com

South Carolina defeated No. 25 Vanderbilt 65-60 in overtime Sunday in Nashville to break a three-game losing streak.

The Gamecocks (15-5, 4-3 SEC) were led by senior La'Keisha Sutton, who finished with 20 points, had a career-high four 3-pointers and scored five of the team's nine points in overtime.

South Carolina closed the first half with a 16-2 run as the defense forced the Commodores to take tough shots at the end of the shot clock. A buzzer-beating deep 3-pointer from Sutton sent USC to the locker room with a 27-21 halftime advantage.

Four points from Sutton, a three-point play from Aleighsa Welch and a 3-pointer from Markeshia Grant gave the Gamecocks a 51-42 cushion, their largest of the game, with 5:56 to go.

The Commodores were not finished, though, putting together a 12-6 run that brought them within a basket of the Gamecocks, with five of those 12 points coming at the free throw line. Vanderbilt's Christina Foggie hit two free throws with 24 seconds left in the game and sent the game into overtime tied at 56-56.

In the extra period, Sutton made her career-high fourth 3-pointer of the night and later made a pair of free throws.

Welch and Grant joined Sutton in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Welch's nine rebounds led the team, as did Sutton's six assists. South Carolina again held the nation's most prolific 3-point shooting team below its average, as the Commodores hit 3-of-17 from beyond the arc.

South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena for the second time in six games on Thursday a 7 p.m. game against Ole Miss.

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