South Carolina women's basketball throttles UNC in March Madness for 10th straight Sweet 16

Evan Gerike
Greenville News

COLUMBIA − Freshman guard MiLaysia Fulwiley scored 20 points and South Carolina women's basketball couldn't be stopped in a dominant 88-41 thrashing of North Carolina in the second round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Sunday at Colonial Life Arena.

The No. 1 Gamecocks (34-0) advanced to their 10th consecutive Sweet 16 with the victory over the No. 8-seeded Tar Heels (20-13) and will play the winner of No. 4 Indiana and No. 5 Oklahoma in Albany, New York, on Friday.

Senior center Kamilla Cardoso returned from a one-game suspension, recording 12 points and 10 rebounds. She had just six points in the first meeting between the teams in November and matched that total in the first quarter Sunday.

It was the freshmen that paced the 18-0 run from South Carolina that capped off the first quarter, helping the Gamecocks leave little doubt in the result for over 30 minutes of game time. Guard Tessa Johnson found her shooting stroke, swishing three 3-pointers, while Fulwiley had three and picked up two steals and a block on defense.

South Carolina spreads the wealth on offense

South Carolina found its groove early through its passing. The Gamecocks assisted on 14 of 19 first-half baskets, helping five different players finish with double-digit scoring.

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Fulwiley led the way with 20 points. She made four 3-pointers just two days after setting a career-high with five against Presbyterian. Sophomore forward Chloe Kitts added 12 points.

Johnson and sophomore forward Ashlyn Watkins each scored 11 points. Senior guard Te-Hina Paopao scored eight points and added six assists.

South Carolina plays near-perfect first half

After struggling against North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Nov. 30, South Carolina took to its home court intending to leave no doubt about the outcome. The Gamecocks blew past the Tar Heels in the first half, shooting 59% from the field and 8-for-10 from beyond the arc.

Their 30-2 run, which started in the first quarter and ended with four minutes left in the first half, extended the lead to 33 points before the Tar Heels made another bucket. In that nearly nine-minute period, the Gamecocks made 5-of-6 3-point attempts. The Tar Heels, meanwhile, missed 13 consecutive shots.

Evan Gerike covers South Carolina women's basketball for the Greenville News. Email him at or follow him on Twitter @EvanGerike.