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Oregon State Women’s Basketball: Opponent Preview - South Carolina

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Beavers face Gamecocks in Round 2 of the Vancouver Classic.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Practice Day Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State Women’s Basketball Team takes on the South Carolina Gamecocks in game five of the season. Tip-off is slated for 8:30 PM PST on Friday, November 23rd, in round two of the inaugural Vancouver Showcase Women’s Tournament. These teams last met in the second round of another tournament, the NCAAs, back in 2014. The Beavers gave the gamecocks a fight, but ultimately fell 69-78. To watch live, you’ll need to purchase the game from the Vancouver Showcase page (it will be ten bucks per game or 25 to watch the whole tournament). Check out the team’s schedule or Twitter page to learn how to follow along live (other than the paid stream). Let’s take a closer look at the Gamecocks.


South Carolina (#13 in AP Poll, 3-1 overall, 0-0 conference)

Last season: 28-8 overall, 12-4 in SEC (2nd), lost in Elite Eight of NCAA Tournament

Oregon State’s first real test this season will come from SEC juggernaut, South Carolina. I don’t use the term juggernaut lightly as South Carolina has won the last four SEC Tournaments, as well as four recent regular season titles (2014-2017). The Gamecocks finished last season with an Elite Eight appearance and were NCAA Champions the year before in 2017. They are currently 3-1 on the season with their only loss coming to the hands of seventh ranked Maryland.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Women’s Final Four-Mississippi State vs South Carolina
Dawn Staley led the Gamecocks to the 2017 National Championship.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina’s recent success comes from their head coach, Dawn Staley, who has started her 11th year with the program. Staley had quite the career as a player before becoming a successful head coach, as she was a two time National Player of the Year at Virginia and a three-time Olympic gold medalist.


Who to watch

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-South Carolina vs Mississippi State
Tyasha Harris returns as South Carolina’s floor general.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

#52 - Tyasha Harris, Junior Guard

An All-SEC Second Team selection a year ago after leading the SEC in assists per game, Harris is back at it again this year with 17 in four games so far.

#2 - Te’a Cooper, Junior Guard

Cooper leads the Gamecocks in scoring at 12 points per game after sitting the last two years. At Tennessee, she was an All-SEC Freshmen Team selection before an injury derailed her second year and then sitting out last year for transferring.

#21 - Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, Junior Forward

The 6’2’’ Herbert Harrigan leads the Gamecocks in rebounds, at five per contest, as well as blocks at just over two a game.


Prediction

South Carolina will be Oregon State’s first ranked opponent this season and comes on the heels after a closer-than-expected win over a struggling Western Kentucky team. A win here would be a statement win for Scott Rueck’s program and further cement themselves with the elite in NCAA women’s basketball. This game will likely be close and the Beavers will need to be hitting on all cylinders. After struggling to put the Lady Toppers away last night, hitting only 20% of their three point shots, I think the Beavers will be more on target tonight and find a way to squeak this one out with their experienced guard play.