In one of the most anticipated games of the season, No. 1 South Carolina goes on the road to take on Angel Reese and LSU. Who gets the win in this matchup?
TV schedule: Thursday, January 25thm 8:00 pm ET. ESPN
Arena: Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rough, Louisiana
With Kansas State recently falling, we're down to just one team in women's college basketball without a loss. And it's South Carolina (17-0, 5-0 SEC), who hasn't won a game by fewer than 20 points since a 9-point win against Utah six weeks ago. They have a win margin in SEC play of nearly 30 points, including a recent 99-64 win over Texas A&M, led by 21 points off the bench from MiLaysia Fulwiley.
The Gamecocks average over 90 ppg and it's truly a collective effort for them, with seven players averaging between 8.9-13.3 ppg. 6'7 center Kamilla Cardoso (13.3 ppg and 10.7 rpg) has led the way on both ends, while Oregon transfer Te-Hina Paopao (12.5 ppg and 4.0 apg) is the best 3-point shooter in the country, making a whopping 56% of his shots at nearly five a game.
South Carolina's top-ranked defense will have its toughest test of the season, taking on the No. 1 scoring offense, LSU (18-2, 5-1 SEC). The reigning national champions got even better in the offseason, pairing All-American forward Angel Reese (19.9 ppg and 12.1 rpg) with DePaul transfer Aneesah Morrow (18.2 ppg and 9.7 rpg), former Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith (11.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg), and five-star freshman guard Mikaylah Williams (16.5 ppg).
The elite offense has a big win over Virginia Tech but have also shown vulnerability, losing to both Colorado and at Auburn recently. This game is huge for the home team when it comes to the SEC regular-season title race, since it's the lone matchup between LSU and South Carolina this year.
It's going to be an incredible frontcourt matchup, with Cardoso and Reese matching up facing off, while the great offense vs defense battle is always an appealing sell to watch the game. A win by the Tigers will make them instant title favorites again, while showing that the Gamecocks can indeed be beaten. If not, then Coach Dawn Staley's team could go unbeaten in the regular season.