COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP)Lauren Hansen made a driving layup with 0.1 seconds left and Missouri stunned No. 1 South Carolina 70-69 in overtime Thursday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
The Tigers (12-2) overcame the absence of scoring leader Aijha Blackwell and four other players to beat a No. 1 team for the first time in program history. They were previously 0-8 against No. 1 ranked teams.
”This is a huge win for us and I couldn’t be more proud,” Missouri coach Robin Pingleton said. ”The grit they showed and the belief. Their ability to play through tough possessions and different players stepped up at different times.”
South Carolina (12-1) was coming off its biggest comeback in school history, overcoming an 18-point deficit to beat No. 2 Stanford last Tuesday. On Thursday night, the Tigers always had an answer when the Gamecocks cut it close.
Hansen and Hayley Frank each scored 21 points, LaDazhia Williams added 12, and Mama Dembele had 11.
”Wins like this don’t just happen, but it’s a body of work over time,” Pingleton said. ”Even though there were some players not here, we want to acknowledge them.”
Aliyah Boston scored 17 points for South Carolina, including 16 in the second half. Kamilla Cardoso added 14 and Zia Cooke had 10. Boston was held to one point and played just eight minutes because of foul trouble in the first half, when Missouri led 32-26.
”We really take a hit when she is not on the floor, 28 minutes is a lot of minutes, but not enough minutes,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. ”Our team can learn from this and they listen the most after losses.”
The Gamecocks trailed by as many as six in final three minutes of regulation. Boston’s put-back tied the game at 64 with 21 seconds left. South Carolina missed a jumper at the buzzer, forcing overtime. The Gamecocks rattled off five consecutive points, but were held scoreless the rest of the way.
With the Gamecocks up 69-68 and less than five seconds to play, Hansen drove to the basket and scored a layup with 0.1 seconds left. The Gamecocks inbounded the ball under the basket to Boston, whose made shot came after the buzzer.
The loss snapped the longest active streak of wins against unranked opponents at 43 held by South Carolina. It’s also the Gamecock’s first loss to an unranked SEC foe since 2017, which was also at Missouri.
It’s the Tigers fourth straight win and first win against a ranked opponent since 2019.
It marked only the seventh time an unranked team has beaten the top-ranked team, and the first since Colorado beat Stanford on Jan. 17, 2021. No. 1 ranked teams have lost seven consecutive overtime games.
South Carolina: Boston couldn’t quite get it going in the first half because of Missouri’s defense and foul trouble, which proved costly for the Gamecocks. The Gamecocks have a week to regroup before their next game.
Missouri: Arguably the biggest win in program history, Missouri did it using just seven players. Several players were absent due to health and safety protocols. For a team picked 10th in the preseason poll in the SEC, the Tigers gain confidence heading into the rest of the conference season.
South Carolina: At LSU on Jan. 6.
Missouri: At Vanderbilt on Sunday.
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