Maggie Lucas and Talia East stepped up late to give the No. 11 Lady Lions a big 55-50 come-from-behind win Sunday at the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Lady Lions (3-1) didn’t play the game they’re used to in Columbia, as they made not a single 3-pointer. However, they shot 50 percent (21-for-42) from the floor, with Lucas making seven of her 13 field goals en route to scoring 18 points.
Lucas also iced the game late. The Lady Lions fell behind, 48-40, with 6:41 left, but Lucas scored eight of the Lady Lions’ last ten points during a game-ending 13-0 run to ice the win. She made a mid-range jumper that gave the Lady Lions the lead they wouldn't surrender, and also grabbed a steal on the Gamecocks’ penultimate possession when they were only down by three.
East also contributed greatly to the win. When starting center Nikki Greene collected two early fouls, East replaced her and ended up playing 29 minutes to Greene’s 19. More importantly, the sophomore had a career game, making six points, blocking seven shots, and taking 15 rebounds. One of her blocks was a game-changer, as it resulted in Lucas making the shot that put the Lady Lions ahead for good.
The game was a high-scoring one early, but slowed down quickly. It was 10-9 within four minutes of game’s start, but was 20-16 with three minutes left in the first half. Lady Lion point guard Alex Bentley had a poor game, fouling the Gamecocks twice early and scoring only six points. She also had seven turnovers, including ones on three consecutive drives.
South Carolina (3-1) shot the ball extremely often. They attempted 76 field goals, but only make 19. The Lady Lions played a 2-3 defense for most of the game, and it worked much better than it did against the Delaware Blue Hens last week.