South Carolina beat LSU for the SEC Championship after multiple shutouts

First rank South Carolina Beats number 5 LSU Dan Staley's eighth win, 79-72 SEC Championship Sunday in 10 years at the Bon Secours Health Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. It was a tense match against Kim Mulkey and the defending national champions.

With 20 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Gamecocks went undefeated and went 32-0.

LSU's Flau'jae Johnson tries to block a late steal by Milesia Fulvili. South Carolina's Camila Cardoso retaliated and pushed Johnson to the ground. Johnson's teammate Hailey Van Lith rushed over and tackled Cardoso, and a ruckus ensued. Many players from both sides were sent off. Cardoso will miss the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the fight.

Fulvili led all scorers with 24 points. Aneesa Morrow led the Tigers with 19 points. Angel Reese had 15 points and 13 rebounds despite battling an ankle injury. She came to the game wearing walking boots.

Gamecocks led by 13 points in the third quarter, but the Tigers clawed their way back to bring the game within one. Fulvili made repeated three-point shots to regain momentum for South Carolina.

South Carolina finished 16-of-19 on free throws — despite going 12-for-22 in the first half.

Both the teams now await Sunday's test.

Hours after the game, Camila Cardoso took to social media to apologize for her role.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, he wrote: “My sincere apologies for my actions during today's game. My behavior does not reflect me as a person or a representative of the South Carolina program, and I apologize for any inconvenience caused. I promise to treat it with the utmost respect and sportsmanship.”

LSU coach Kim Mulkey said Flau'jae Johnson made a smart play in the final minutes when he intentionally fouled MiLaysia Fulwiley — leading to a brawl and multiple ejections. Mulki Fulvili would have pitched a no-hitter, which would have extended Gamecocks' lead in a close game.

Mulkey added that she understood emotions were running high at such a crunch point in the game, but South Carolina center Camila Cardoso wasn't happy about going after the younger Johnson.

“It's ugly, it's not good, and nobody wants to be a part of it,” Mulkey said. “But I tell you this, I love it [Cardoso] Angel would have pushed Reese (6-foot-3). If you have 6-8 (6-7), don't push anyone a little. This is unnecessary in my opinion. Let go of those two women in Jaws.

South Carolina coach Don Staley apologized to Johnson directly after the game. “I respect her, she is a good person,” Staley said.

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South Carolina forward Camila Cardoso will miss the Gamecocks' first game in the NCAA Tournament beginning Friday, March 22, after being ejected for a fighting penalty at the end of the SEC Championship Game.

Cardoso, a projected lottery pick in this spring's WNBA draft, is averaging 14.2 points and 9.6 rebounds at South Carolina, which will earn the tournament's No. 1 overall pick. While South Carolina is sure to miss her — the 6-foot-7 center is affecting every possession defensively — Camcox has experience playing without her.

Earlier this year, Cardoso missed two games while playing with the Brazilian national team in an Olympic qualifier in early February. South Carolina had two wins without him, beating Missouri 83-45 and UConn 83-65. He missed the Gamecocks' 72-44 win over Alabama on Feb. 22 and the 103-55 blowout win at Kentucky on Feb. 25. He left both of those games with minor injuries and soreness.

Six players were ejected for brawling in the fourth quarter of the SEC championship game between South Carolina and LSU.

South Carolina star Camila Cardoso was ejected for fighting and will miss the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He pushed LSU star Flau'jae Johnson to the ground during the incident.

Players sent off and missed in the last two minutes of the game:

  • LSU guard Janay Kent
  • LSU center Alya Del Rosario
  • South Carolina center Camila Cardoso (will miss first round of NCAA Tournament)
  • South Carolina guard Tessa Johnson
  • South Carolina Forward Glow Kids
  • South Carolina center Sakimah Walker

After winning his eighth SEC Tournament title, South Carolina coach Dan Staley seemed subdued. “I want to apologize to the basketball community,” Staley told ESPN sideline reporter Brooke Weisbrod. “When you play championship games like this, when things heat up, (there are) no negative thoughts. Their emotions got too far ahead of them, and sometimes these things happen.

“I want to apologize for our part in that. It's not who we are, it's not what we're about. I'm happy for the players who were able to finish the game and get us another championship.

Asked how to address the fight that caused the 20-minute delay, Staley said, “We're going to talk about it. We've always talked about it. Never leave the bench. Never be too high with the high or stoop to the low. It's hard when you play. I've been playing this game for a long time and I can't say I'm a saint all the time. Your feelings will get the best of you. It is unfortunate that the dismissed players cannot be a part of the (post-match) celebrations.

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Despite Sunday's loss in the SEC championship game, LSU star Angel Reese said the defending NCAA champions aren't afraid of South Carolina. Reese, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds despite battling an ankle injury, said the Tigers are in a good place right now and “anybody watching us should be scared.” — Corey Diaz, USA TODAY Network

The fourth quarter lasted 20 minutes longer than usual because of a scuffle after Flau'jae Johnson tried to block Milesia Fulvili's late steal. Both teams were ejected.

In the end, South Carolina defeated LSU 79-72. The Tigers got within a point after a nine-point run capped by a layup by Angel Reese and a pair of free throws by Johnson. But Gamecox finished the game with four free throws. They finished 16-of-19 from the charity stripe.

Head coach Dan Staley apologized to the “basketball community” for the fight.

“That's not us,” he said on the ESPN broadcast after the game.

The battle for the SEC Championship heated up in the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship when South Carolina's Milesia Fulvili grabbed a steal and began a dunk. LSU's Flau'jae Johnson shoves Amani Bartlett, grabbing her from behind to block her. South Carolina star Camila Cardoso retaliated and pushed Johnson to the ground. Johnson's teammate Hailey Van Lith rushed over and tackled Cardoso, and a ruckus ensued.

The LSU bench was cleared and a South Carolina coach held the players back.

A fan jumped over the scorer's table and was immediately followed by a police officer. A fan, whom ESPN broadcast as Johnson's brother, was escorted out of court. Johnson's mother is shown talking to a police officer.

With 2:08 left in the game and 11 minutes left, the Gamecocks 73-66, the officials called the incident.

Johnson was fouled intentionally and Cardoso was disqualified from the fight. All players who leave the bench are ejected from the game.

South Carolina leads LSU 59-53 in the fourth quarter.

The Gamecocks went up by 13 points before the Tigers' Angel Reece made up for it. Then, Alya Del Rosario took a long jump, and all of her LSU teammates pumped their fists to center Kim Mulkey's comments about playing like a Mac truck.

But Milesia Fulvili made three-point shots to regain momentum for South Carolina.

Late in the period, LSU's Aneesa Morrow brought the game within four and the Tigers had another chance to score, but after several layups and a steal from Flau'jae Johnson, they couldn't get a bucket.

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South Carolina's Fulvili led the way with 20 points, while Morrow had 19 for LSU.

Despite a bit of a drought in the second quarter, the Gamecocks led 36-32 at halftime.

Midway through the period, Angel Reese threw an elbow against Camila Cardoso that was upgraded to an intentional foul. It was Reese's second foul and he went to the bench after the play. South Carolina's Te-Hina Babowo is shown shaking her head before making both free throws.

Reese had four points and seven rebounds. Aneesa Morrow continues to lead the Tigers with 11 points.

Flau'jae Johnson scored his first points for LSU in the second quarter, including a long jumper that he missed and a three-point play with his free throw.

Dan Staley's team went more than four minutes between field goals, but Milesia Fulvili closed the quarter with a three-point bucket with two minutes left in the half. He leads South Carolina with 10 points. Paopao has seven.

LSU outshot South Carolina 22 to 12 in the first half.

South Carolina jumped out to an early lead in the SEC Championship, ending the first quarter 18-15.

The unbeaten Gamecox ended the period on an 11-2 run after the Tigers went up 13-7.

Angel Reese had four points for LSU. She sported a walking boot. Aneesa Morrow leads the Tigers with six points.

For South Carolina, Milesia Fulvili led the way with five points off the bench.

Angel Reese arrived at the SEC Championship Game in a walking start

Angel Reese, LSU's leading scorer with an average of 19.1 points per game, reached the SEC Tournament Championship Game. Wearing walking boots On her right leg.

Despite the start, Reese was on the floor for pregame warmups and played in the starting lineup No. 1 is South Carolina Sunday afternoon.

Reese had 21 points and 17 rebounds Saturday to lead No. 5 LSU to a 75-67 win over Mississippi and reach the SEC Tournament title game. Reese turned his ankle in the quarterfinals against Auburn and played again Saturday with a sore ankle. “My ankle is now the size of a tennis ball,” she said.

LSU suffered another major injury Saturday when guard Last-Tear Boa came off the court on a stretcher after hitting what he heard on the floor. Boa suffered a concussion Saturday night, the team said.

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