David Cloninger

Cloninger Soundoff: Gamecocks in control with defense

Oregon State forward Deven Hunter (32) is defended by South Carolina's Asia Dozier (31) during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Seattle.
Oregon State forward Deven Hunter (32) is defended by South Carolina's Asia Dozier (31) during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Seattle. AP/The Oregonian

How’s that expression go? Offense sells tickets, defense ?

Not quite to that point (the Gamecocks have four games to go), but the way they played defense on Tuesday, I wouldn’t bet against them.

Frankly, USC had not been the same team since that beatdown of Kentucky in Lexington. The Gamecocks mostly won, but they didn’t have that slice-em-up mentality. They didn’t control games the way they had.

On Tuesday, they did. They went right at Oregon State’s height and was on Sydney Wiese like the mumps. Wiese looked like she wanted to fire the basketball into Khadijah Sessions’ face a couple of times if Sessions didn’t lay off the defense.

The Gamecocks looked poised. Confident. Mean. Nasty. They didn’t shoot particularly well, but they had the points when they needed them, including clutch free throws.

See you in Stanford.

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