South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, right, is ejected from the game against Missouri after getting a double technical during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won 83-74. (AP Photo)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
Although Sunday’s loss was only the second setback for South Carolina, it’s one that didn’t sit well with head coach Dawn Staley and fans who saw the game.
The Gamecocks’ 83-74 loss to the Tigers is one that was accentuated by what fans say was rough play by Mizzou and short stints for Staley, who was ejected, and A’ja Wilson, who fouled out with just eight points in 19 minutes.
Staley told reporters on Wednesday the team has submitted calls and video to the league office for review. However, it’s not something they’re worried about right now.
“I’m moving on to Auburn,” Staley said during the team’s practice at Colonial Life Arena. “We’ll probably revisit with all that stuff in the next couple of weeks, but I just want to turn the page and talk about Auburn.”
The contest saw Wilson play eight minutes less than what she has averaged this season. Nevertheless, the tough outing for the Gamecocks isn’t something the defending SEC Player of the Year or her teammates plan to dwell on.
“It is what it is,” Wilson said. “We lose and we kind of learn from it. It’s always a teaching lesson for us. I think we’ve always had fire in us. They just kind of sparked it a little bit more. Other than that, we’re focusing on Auburn and come out and do us.”
Now, the Gamecocks set their sights on Auburn, a team ranked among the top 15 in the country when it comes to scoring defense. The Tigers only surrender an average of 54.7 points per game thanks in part to their full court press.
“They’re going to press us for 40 minutes,” Staley said. “They’re relentless, probably even more relentless than they were last year so we’ve been working that over the last two days. As much as we try to simulate it, it’s different because it’s all the time. It’s every dead ball. It’s when they have the opportunity to do it in the full court, three-quarter court, half-court. Our guards have to be really focused in and poised knowing that they’re going to be trapped, knowing that they’re going to be put under an incredible amount of duress.”
South Carolina will take on Auburn at Colonial Life Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday. The game can be seen online with SEC Network+.
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