Bree Hall makes go-ahead 3 as No. 1 South Carolina rallies past No. 9 LSU 76-70

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Bree Hall made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:14 remaining, and No. 1 South Carolina rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat ninth-ranked and defending national champion LSU 76-70 on Thursday night.

Chloe Kitts scored 14 points to lead the Gamecocks (18-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference), who beat the Tigers (18-3, 5-2) for the 15th straight time and snapped LSU’s 29-game home winning streak.

Raven Johnson had 13 points, Te-Hina Paopao 12 and Kamilla Cardoso 11. Hall finished with 10 points.

“Once we settled in, it was a dogfight and it was a game of runs,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “They made big plays, we made big plays. It was the team that made the last play was the one who was going to win this basketball game.”

Aneesah Morrow had 16 points and 13 rebounds for LSU. Angel Reese had 15 points and eight rebounds but fouled out with 4:02 left and the Tigers clinging to a 67-65 lead. Johnson hit two free throws to tie it, and LSU made only one basket the rest of the way — a 3-pointer by Hailey Van Lith that tied the game at 70-all with 1:42 left.

“When you don’t have Angel Reese on the floor the last four minutes of the game, it takes you out of your rhythm,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said. “It takes you out of your confidence. The game came down to exactly what it usually does. It’s toughness, it’s experience.”

Van Lith finished with 12 points. Mikaylah Williams scored 12 and Flau’jae Johnson had 10.

LSU led 24-18 after one quarter and 41-30 late in the second, but the Gamecocks closed the period with a 6-0 run, including a 3 by MiLaysia Fulwiley at the buzzer.

South Carolina took its first lead since the first basket of the game when Cardoso converted a layup for a 63-61 advantage with 6:06 left in the fourth.

LSU called timeout and Reese re-entered but fouled out two minutes later.

Hall hit a 3 to make it 70-67 with 2:54 left, and Van Lith tied it with her 3. LSU called a 30-second timeout to set its defense, but Hall hit the go-ahead 3 on a post pass from Cardoso.

Hall missed her first six shots but connected on her last four, all in the final six minutes. Former South Carolina star Aliyah Boston, now with the WNBA's Indiana Fever, sat behind the Gamecocks' bench, and Staley said Hall benefited from a word from Boston.

“She said something to Breezy during a timeout that relaxed her,” Staley said. “She was able to see the ball come at her and hit them like (the) practice shots she does every single day we’re out on the court.”

South Carolina outscored LSU 40-29 after halftime and had a 22-12 rebounding edge after the break. The Gamecocks' defensive pressure on the perimeter made it difficult for the Tigers to get into offensive sets.

“We’ve got work to do,” Flau'jae Johnson said. “At the end of each quarter (in the first half), we gave up 3s and we lost by six. We have to tighten up on things like that. That was the No. 1 team in the nation and we were almost there.”


Reminded by a reporter that the LSU crowd wasn't being very friendly to her, Staley disagreed.

“Actually, they were,” Staley joked. “They were calling me ‘Boo.’”


South Carolina: The Gamecocks improved to 5-0 against ranked opponents and face only one more team in their final 11 regular-season games that’s currently ranked — No. 8 UConn, which visits on Feb. 11.

LSU: Mulkey dropped to 1-4 against South Carolina — 0-3 in three seasons with LSU and 1-1 in her 21 seasons with Baylor. Her only win over the Gamecocks came in a regional semifinal of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, which concluded with Baylor capturing its third national title under Mulkey.


South Carolina: Hosts Vanderbilt on Sunday.

LSU: At Mississippi State on Monday.


Get alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here.


AP women’s college basketball: and