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South Carolina women’s basketball, Dawn Staley beat Duke 77-61 behind 60% 3-point shooting

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DURHAM, N.C. — After beating Duke 77-61 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday, South Carolina women’s basketball doubled down on the statement it made at North Carolina: Don’t poke the bear.

The Blue Devils (5-3) got out to a hot start against the No. 1 Gamecocks (7-0), opening up a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter until MiLaysia Fulwiley’s buzzer-beater from the logo cut it to two. The game got heated at the end of the second quarter as Duke’s Jadyn Donovan drew a technical foul for taunting Chloe Kitts, and Raven Johnson earned one too after exchanging words with the Duke bench.

After the perceived disrespect, South Carolina locked in. The Gamecocks opened their first double-digit lead of the game minutes into the third quarter behind a 12-0 run. However, Duke regained momentum entering the fourth quarter and tied the game at 55 with just seven minutes left before South Carolina reestablished itself with a 10-point run.

Kamilla Cardoso continues defensive production

Kamilla Cardoso hasn’t led South Carolina’s scoring once this season, but the 6-7 center made her impact felt on defense against Duke. Cardoso brought down 14 rebounds, 11 of which were defensive, and she tied her career high with two steals.

While Cardoso didn’t generate big numbers offensively, she was highly efficient in the first half making 2-of-3 attempts. The Blue Devils’ paint defense kept her contained in the second half with just one field goal in the third quarter, but she hit crucial back-to-back layups to open up a 13-point lead with just over three minutes left.

Three-pointers keep falling for South Carolina

South Carolina’s third-quarter run was fueled by an explosive series of 3-pointers started by junior Bree Hall less than two minutes into the half. Hall finished with 13 points shooting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Te-Hina Paopao added a 3-pointer of her own barely a minute after Hall’s, and Kitts bookended the outside shots with layups in the paint.

Paopao finished with 12 points going 2-of-4 on 3-pointers, and the team shot a season-best 60% beyond the arc. Raven Johnson also hit 3-of-4 attempts to finish with 11 points, and Fulwiley made 1-of-2 to score nine.

Gamecocks nearly give up game on turnovers

Duke came back to tie the game early in the fourth quarter after South Carolina gave up three turnovers in the third quarter and another one to start the fourth. Though the margin was ultimately not dramatic — 20 Gamecocks turnovers to 16 for Duke — the Blue Devils finished with 15 second-chance points to South Carolina’s 19.

Thee Gamecocks struggled in general against the Duke defense, held under 100 points for just the third time this season and second by a Power 5 opponent. They allowed a season-worst 11 steals and eight block to the Blue Devils, and only Duke’s weak shooting from the field prevented a closer game.

Follow South Carolina women’s basketball reporter Emily Adams on X @eaadams6 and subscribe to The Greenville News for exclusive Gamecocks content: https://subscribe.greenvilleonline.com/offers.

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