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Dawn Staley on starting lineup: Cardoso, Johnson ‘broke team rule’

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(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

South Carolina dominated Morgan State on Wednesday night, but did so with a different starting lineup than previous games.

Both Kamilla Cardoso and Raven Johnson started from the bench in favor of Sakima Walker (in place of Cardoso) and freshman guard Tessa Johnson (in place of Raven Johnson).

Following the game, head coach Dawn Staley gave insight into the decision, noting that both had broken a team rule.

“They broke a team rule. They took it on the chin, we kept it moving, we’re good,” she said. “Nothing long-lasting.”

Ultimately, Staley said she “liked” putting out a different starting lineup, as it allowed for some different looks. Tessa Johnson finished with 16 points, while both Johnson and Cardoso finished in double-digits off the bench.

“I think we gained some valuable minutes, valuable instances for, like a Tessa,” Staley said. “Tessa is right there. She just needs more opportunities to play, and it gave her an opportunity to play. [Te-Hina Paopao] playing the point just solely, I thought she did a great job running the team, keeping it simple. And they were able to just bank some threes and open the floor up for us.”