USC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

No. 10 South Carolina women bounce back, beat Vandy 95-82

Posted

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Alexis Jennings scored a season-high 27 points and 10th-ranked South Carolina beat Vanderbilt 95-82 Thursday night despite the banged-up Gamecocks' injury list growing longer.

The Gamecocks (15-3, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) again played without two-time SEC player of the year A'ja Wilson , who has a sprained right ankle, and minus her backup Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan, out with a bone bruise in her left knee.

Senior guard Lindsey Spann hit 5 of 7 3-pointers before hurting a knee with 7:16 left in the third quarter and going to the locker room. Then guard Tyasha Harris, the SEC's assists leader, went down with 4:33 left in the third after hurting her right leg and having to be helped off the court. Spann returned for the fourth quarter, Harris didn't return.

South Carolina, coming off an 86-70 loss on their own court to Tennessee, has not dropped back-to-back games since February 2013, and improved to 19-1 coming off a loss over the last six seasons.

LeLe Grissett added 22 points for the Gamecocks, Spann finished with 17, Harris had 12 and Doniyah Cliney 10.

Erin Whalen scored a career-high 25 points for Vanderbilt (5-15, 1-5). Christa Reed added 23, and Cierra Walker 13.

Spann opened the game with a 3-pointer, and South Carolina never trailed. The Gamecocks led 22-18 after the first quarter and were up by as much as 16 before going into halftime up 48-40.

Coming off their first SEC win this season, the Commodores used a 9-2 run to pull within two a couple times late in the third on buckets by Kayla Overbeck. The second pulled Vandy within 64-62 with 1:57 left before the Gamecocks scored the next nine for a 73-62 lead at the end of the quarter capped by Jennings' 3 to beat the buzzer.

The Gamecocks led by as much as 14 in the fourth quarter.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: Wilson missed a second straight game with her sprained ankle. South Carolina is in a stretch of three straight against unranked teams in the SEC, giving Wilson time to heal up that ankle before the Gamecocks host top-ranked UConn on Feb. 1.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores' ability as the SEC's top-shooting 3-point team helps them keep opponents from running away. But teams like the Gamecocks are able to use their size and length to just take over inside, and Vandy was outscored 56-28 in the paint.

UP NEXT

South Carolina visits Kentucky on Sunday.

Vanderbilt hosts Alabama on Sunday.