The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Jervey Gym - Clemson, SC

Mitchell leads No. 2 South Carolina to 67-41 win

2382 days ago
Associated Press
Photo: Associated Press

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Tiffany Mitchell scored 18 points to lead No. 2 South Carolina to a sluggish 67-41 win over Clemson on Wednesday night.

The Gamecocks (3-0) struggled at times against the Tigers' zone. South Carolina missed nine straight 3-pointers as Clemson (1-2) packed it in, and led just 25-19 late in the second quarter.

But South Carolina started on a 33-9 run that carried it through the end of the third quarter, which included hitting a 3-pointer to end the first half and the team's next three from behind the arc in the third quarter.

The zone meant South Carolina relied more than usual on its outside shooting. The Gamecocks were 7-of-25 on 3-pointers. Clemson tried just seven shots outside the arc, making three.

Justice Wright scored a career-high 13 to lead Clemson.

Alaina Coates added 10 points for South Carolina. After recording a double-double in her first two games, A'ja Wilson had seven points and five rebounds for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina jumped out to an 18-4 lead late in the first quarter before Clemson's zone clamped down. The Gamecocks missed shot after shot, leaning on their defense, which forced 12 turnovers in the first half.

The Gamecocks held the Tigers to just 32.6 percent shooting (14-of-43), and Clemson missed 17 of its 23 shots in the second half. The Tigers have yet to score more than 50 points this season.

South Carolina is coming off a Final Four season. Two decades ago, the Tigers were regulars in the NCAA Tournament. But the balance of power in women's basketball has shifted considerably.

The Gamecocks have won six straight over their in-state rival, and Clemson coach Audra Smith is 23-42, as she tried to rebuild a team that has finished with a losing record 11 seasons in a row. Clemson once made 14 NCAA Tournaments in 15 seasons, but hasn't been there since 2002.

Clemson is playing its home games at cozy Jervey Gym while Littlejohn Coliseum is being renovated. Even with packed stands, the attendance Wednesday was 1,200.

TIP-INS

South Carolina: After switching her starting lineup for South Carolina's second game, coach Dawn Staley kept the same starters Wednesday. ... Before Wednesday night, South Carolina had increased its margin of victory in each game of its six-game winning streak over Clemson. The Gamecocks beat Clemson in 2014 by 58 points.

Clemson: The Tigers had 24 fouls to 15 for South Carolina, and the Gamecocks shot 14 more free throws ... Fourteen of the 15 players on the Tigers roster are freshmen or sophomores. ... Even with Wednesday's loss, Clemson leads the series over South Carolina 33-28 and still owns the longest winning streak in the series at seven games.

UP NEXT

South Carolina heads west, playing at UCLA on Sunday, followed by three games in three nights in Hawaii.

Clemson goes to Furman on Saturday.