USC Women defeat Georgia, in SEC tournament championship versus Miss St.

USC Athletics photo

The No. 8 South Carolina women’s basketball team defeated No. 19 Georgia 71-49 to reach the final of the SEC tournament. The win pits the Gamecocks in another showdown with Mississippi State.

A’ja Wilson had 21 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 8 South Carolina handle No. 19 Georgia. USC win play in the SEC tournament championship for the fourth straight year.

Wilson came off the bench for a second straight game after a bout of vertigo kept her out of the regular-season finale. The three-time SEC player of the year came in needing five points to become the Gamecocks’ career scoring leader scorer, and Wilson managed that with three quick buckets in the first quarter.

Now three-time defending tournament champ South Carolina (25-6) will play No. 2 Mississippi State for something no SEC team has ever managed – a fourth straight title. Mississippi State beat No. 15 Texas A&M 70-55 earlier Saturday.

”It would mean the world to me honestly just to put something else in the history book here,” Wilson said. ”We have been breaking records for a while now. Coach has turned this program around, and that’s one of the reasons why I came here, is to be in the history books.”

Doniyah Cliney and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan added 14 points apiece for South Carolina.

Georgia (25-6) heads home missing out on the championship game yet again. A four-time tournament champ, the Bulldogs haven’t played in the title game since 2004.

Georgia scored the first four points of the game and led 8-4 on a pair of free throws by Taja Cole with 6:12 left. That’s when Wilson, who came off the bench with 6:52 to go, got going. Wilson missed her first bucket, then knocked down three straight. Caliya Robinson tipped in a bucket for Georgia’s last lead at 12-11 before Wilson’s layup put South Carolina ahead to stay.

South Carolina led 16-12 after the first quarter and led by as much as 16 in outscoring Georgia 19-9 in the second for a 35-21 halftime lead. The Gamecocks led 53-37 after three quarters and led by as much as 23 in the fourth.
Second-seeded Carolina will battle top-seeded Mississippi State Sunday for the SEC Tournament Championship. The game, which can be seen on ESPN2, tips off at 4:30 p.m. ET.