SAN ANTONIO – The details in the rivalry have changed and the result has not.
Dawn Staley and South Carolina again dominated Vic Schaefer on Tuesday night, directing sixth-placed Texas 62-34 to the final four. The Gamecocks held Texas without a score in the fourth quarter, which happened for the first time at the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
Longhorns ’34 points were also the lowest in the regional rounds of the women’s tournament, one less than St. Louis. Bonaventure succeeded against Notre Dame in Sweet 16 2012.
The best placed Gamecocks will play against Stanford on Friday night (18:00 ET). This will be South Carolina’s third trip to the Final Four – ever since Staley took power. The Gamecocks succeeded in 2015 and 2017, when they won their first national title.
Before joining Texas last April, Schaefer spent eight years in the state of Mississippi, and he and Staley fought some epic battles for control of the Southeast Conference. Staley got the best of most of them, including a win over Schaefer’s Bulldogs for the SEC tournament title in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 and, as the biggest prize of all, in the 2017 state championship game.
“I think we played 15 times and they set the barns on fire,” said Staley, who is now 13-3 against Schaefer, ahead of Tuesday’s game. “I’ve always looked forward to playing Vic because of what he invests in game planning, report scouting and planning.
“Any game we played was a game close to us,” Staley added. “That’s why I’m looking forward to it because I know what to expect.”
Like Schaefer, it didn’t matter.
South Carolina was simply too good, too experienced for Texas, which first appeared in Elite Eight since 2016. Gamecocks had a double-digit advantage in the middle of the first quarter and rejected any attempt by Texas to come together. The Longhorns were unable to score on the field in the fourth quarter, missing all 15 shots.
After Texas reduced South Carolina’s lead to 24-17, Zia Cooke escaped with seven points, and Victaria Saxton scored, stole the ball at the other end and made another goal for 13-2. Texas never entered double-digit numbers again. .
Even Schaefer’s trademark lock defense couldn’t slow South Carolina, while the Gamecocks shot a full 57 percent in the first half. South Carolina, meanwhile, harassed the Longhorns in 14 of 61 shots (23 percent) and 15 turnovers, and had 14 blocks.
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