Nashville – In a game where the Lady Vols never gave up and battled back from large deficits multiple times, Tennessee could not top the Gamecocks in the third round of the SEC Women’s Tournament.
This was a game that saw the Gamecocks take multiple large double digit leads in both the first and second half. South Carolina would have a lead as large as 16 in the first half and their largest lead of the game was 18 and came with 7:33 left in the fourth quarter.
Tennessee would battle back in both the first and second half.
UT was able to cut the USC lead to 11 at the half and had it within single digits in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Vols could just never get all the way back. Every time it looked like UT had gained the momentum and could take control, the Gamecocks found a way to push Tennessee back down to the bottom of the hill.
This one doesn’t come down to one player, this was a team loss for UT. Don’t think I am saying A’ja Wilson actually playing in part three of this series between UT and USC didn’t make an impact.
Wilson is not held in regards of being one of the best, if not the best player in the country because she doesn’t make an impact when she is on the floor.
She makes an impact 100 percent of the time when she is on the floor.
What I am saying is she was not the deciding factor in this one, at least in my opinion.
Yes she had 24 points and 12 rebounds, but that was not the deciding factor in my mind. Despite Wilson playing and having a double-double this loss was a team loss by UT and the Lady Vols cost themselves the game.
Wilson helped and she made an impact, mostly in her leadership on the court for South Carolina. However, UT still could have won this game or kept it closer with Wilson playing.
Tennessee got to the free throw line 16 times and shot 81 percent, not great, but not bad either. The Lady Vols won the turnover battle causing 27 turnovers by South Carolina and only turning it over 11 times themselves.
UT realed in 27 offensive rebounds and only lost the overall rebounding battle by seven as USC had 50 to UT’s 43. Tennessee even had 11 assists, all stats that one would think belonged to the winning team or at least that it was a one or two possession game.
Tennessee even had Jaime Nared and Mercedes Russell in double digits on the scoreboard, but yet they lost and one stat can tell you the whole story as to why they lost.