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  • Brandon Harley

Gamecocks beat Lady Vols 76-68 for a perfect regular season.

On Senior Day, Kamilla Cardoso and Te-Hina Paopao led the Gamecocks (29-0, 16-0 Southeastern Conference) to a 47th straight SEC regular-season win, 57th consecutive home victory and sixth straight victory over the Lady Vols (17-11, 10-6).


Cardoso had 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Paopao scored 14 points. The performance was in front of Cardoso's mother, Janete Soares, and her elder sister, Jessica Silva, after they arrived from Brazil. Coach Dawn Staley facilitated their arrival, with help from U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, by getting their visas approved. With her family in the crowd, Cardoso stood on business. Sunday afternoon's game marked the first time her family had seen her play in person since age 15.


In the first quarter, Cardoso had six points and six rebounds. After Tennessee took a 24-23 lead, the Gamecocks outscored the Lady Vols 17-8 to close the second period. This helped them lead 40-32 into the break.


After Tennessee cut its 15-point deficit to 63-60 on Jackson's jumper with 4:51 left, Cardoso extended the margin with consecutive inside shots. As she walked to the bench after fouling out late in the fourth quarter, the sold-out arena gave her a loud ovation. Cardoso finished with her 13th double-double this season and 29th of her career.


South Carolina will take some time off and rest before the madness starts Wednesday when the SEC tourney starts. They will look to stay undefeated and complete a perfect season.

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