Women's hoops: Aggies edge Gamecocks in OT

From staff reportsJanuary 16, 2014 

At College Station, Texas, a stirring South Carolina comeback fell just short as Texas A&M had enough big shots in overtime to pull away, 67-65.

Trailing 19 points in the first half and 17 at the half, the No. 8 Gamecocks stormed back in the second period. USC cut the deficit to one point four times, but A&M always produced another shot or got another Gamecock turnover (USC had 20) to stay ahead. That changed as USC forced a jumpball with 15.1 seconds to go, and won the arrow.

Tiffany Mitchell banked in a 3-pointer to tie the game with five seconds to go and Jordan Jones missed at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. But more missed free throws and layups, plus more turnovers, gave the Aggies the lead. USC made it a three-point game and Aleighsa Welch rebounded a missed A&M shot, but trying to save the ball, she threw the ball off her teammate and it went out-of-bounds.

The No. 25 Aggies (14-4, 4-0 SEC) remained the only undefeated team in the SEC and took the season tiebreaker over the Gamecocks (16-2, 4-1) with their third straight win over a Top 25 team. The Gamecocks, who led 9-4 at one point, gave up runs of 8-0 and 16-0 during the first half and only scored one field goal in the final 9:43. USC also had 12 turnovers in the first half, which led to 16 A&M points.

The Gamecocks tried to keep pounding the ball inside to bigs Alaina Coates and Elem Ibiam, but A&M’s Williams and Karla Gilbert swallowed the two, tipping passes away and guarding the rim. The two were averaging a combined 22 points per game; A&M held them to 12.

USC averaged around 13 turnovers per game during the non-conference season. The Gamecocks are at 18 turnovers per game in the SEC.

Welch led USC with 20 points, and also had 16 rebounds. Mitchell was the only other Gamecock in double figures, with 19. USC shot 10-of-21 from the free-throw line.

USC hosts Alabama at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

NOTE: Mitchell wore a plastic mask to protect her face after she was elbowed in practice. She suffered a bruise but no broken bones. … Khadijah Sessions started for the first time in eight games although she was quickly taken out of the game for Tiffany Davis.

SOUTH CAROLINA (16-2)

Sessions 0-4 2-2 2, Welch 8-19 3-7 20, Mitchell 8-11 1-2 19, Dozier 2-9 0-0 5, Ibiam 2-6 0-2 4, Gaines 2-2 0-0 5, Montout 0-0 1-2 1, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Roy 0-4 1-2 1, Coates 3-6 2-4 8. Totals 25-61 10-21 65.

TEXAS A&M (14-4)

Williams 6-20 4-5 17, Jones 6-16 3-4 16, Walker 8-18 2-3 18, Gilbert 4-8 3-5 11, Ade 1-6 3-3 5, Terry 0-0 0-0 0, Jennings 0-1 0-0 0, Scott 0-1 0-0 0, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Scott-Williams 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-72 15-20 67.

Halftime_Texas A&M 34-17. End Of Regulation_Tied 56. 3-Point Goals_South Carolina 5-11 (Mitchell 2-2, Welch 1-1, Gaines 1-1, Dozier 1-5, Roy 0-2), Texas A&M 2-4 (Jones 1-2, Williams 1-2). Fouled Out_Ade, Gilbert. Rebounds_South Carolina 53 (Welch 16), Texas A&M 41 (Williams 9). Assists_South Carolina 8 (Sessions 3), Texas A&M 13 (Jones 7). Total Fouls_South Carolina 21, Texas A&M 19. Attendance_5,778.

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