South Carolina's Beal to enter WNBA draft


COLUMBIA (AP) - Brea Beal's time as South Carolina's talented defensive stopper is over.

The fourth-year senior said Tuesday on social media that she was foregoing a fifth year in college that's allowed due to COVID-19 and will enter the WNBA draft.

Beal is a 6-foot-1 guard from Rock Island, Illinois, who has been a centerpiece of the Gamecocks' smothering defense.

Beal started 137 of 138 games in her four seasons. She helped the Gamecocks win three Southeastern Conference tournament titles, reach three Final Fours and win the national championship in 2022.

South Carolina (36-1) saw its latest season end Friday night with a 77-73 loss to Iowa in the national semifinals. Beal averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds this season. She was also second on South Carolina with 100 assists.

Beal's WNBA draft stock has risen this year: She's projected as a late first-round selection. South Carolina teammate Aliyah Boston is projected as the No. 1 pick in the draft, which is on April 10.