CHAMPS: Gamecocks clinch share of SEC title

February 23, 2014 

South Carolina clinched at least a share of the SEC regular-season championship with its 69-55 win over Florida on Sunday, coupled with Kentucky’s defeat of Texas A&M. It is the first SEC title for the women’s basketball program, and sixth conference championship overall.

“Just elated. Just really happy, because it’s a milestone,” coach Dawn Staley said. “You’re always searching for that moment to happen. It’s surreal. It’s been a lot of losses, a lot of disappointment, but it is definitely one that brings us complete joy.”

The No. 4 Gamecocks (25-2, 13-1 SEC) can finish no worse than 13-3 in the SEC, and the two other teams bidding for the title, Tennessee and Texas A&M, can finish no better than 13-3. If USC wins its final home game on Thursday against Georgia, the Gamecocks will clinch the title outright, claiming the No. 1 seed for the SEC tournament and rendering Sunday’s regular-season finale at Tennessee obsolete.

The second-largest women’s basketball crowd in Colonial Life Arena history (10,547) was there on Sunday to watch USC beat Florida. Staley was hopeful for a bigger crowd on Thursday.

“We’re hopeful to do what we’ve done all season in Colonial Life Arena, which is win,” Staley said.

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