Stockton, CA – The Gamecocks dominated Quinnipiac 100-57 on Saturday in the Stockton Regional and are confident that they can pull out another win Monday night. This time, against the Florida State Seminoles.
No. 1 seed South Carolina (27-4) will take on No. 3 seed Florida State (25-6) in the NCAA Women’s Tournament at Stockton Arena with a bid to the final four riding on the line.
The teams are no strangers, having played each other two years ago in the 2015 Elite Eight. South Carolina only led for 48 seconds of the game, but in those 48 seconds, they miraculously pulled out a win.
“What I remember is that it was a fight. I remember finishing the game, and my whole body was hurting,” said senior Seminole and Spain native Leticia Romero. “We fought and they did, too. It was a really good game.”
"We need to approach it much like we approached every game of the season although the stakes are a little bit higher," said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.
Second-seeded Florida State is coming off a win against No. 3 seed Oregon State on Saturday. The Seminoles trailed in the first half, but caught a second wind, advancing with a 66-53 victory.
Florida State doesn’t want a repeat of their last meeting with the Gamecocks, so Coach Sue Semrau has been keeping the team focused on rebounding and causing South Carolina to turn the ball over. The Seminoles boast powerhouse shooters Romero and redshirt junior Imani Wright. Not to mention, junior Shakayla Thomas, who stands at 5’11” and specializes in dunking.
Monday’s game marks the Gamecocks third Elite Eight appearance. Florida State is among one of the top programs in the country under Semrau who has landed themselves in the NCAA Tournament 12 out of the past 13 years but haven’t gone beyond tonight’s round.
A win tonight would launch the Seminoles into the national semifinals in Dallas on Friday and their first final four appearance.