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No. 1 South Carolina comes from behind to beat LSU, 76-70

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Dawn Staley (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

South Carolina was down but never out on Thursday, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to claim a 76-70 win over No. 9 LSU.

The team went on an 11-3 run to close the game, securing the win after Angel Reese fouled out with 4:02 to play. South Carolina remains the lone unbeaten team in Division I women’s basketball. All five starters for both teams finished with double digits.

“Angel is a talent. She’s aggressive. She’s poised. She’s very unselfish,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “She’s mean, she’s physical, she is somebody that you want to play with because you know she’s going to play to the very end, she’s going to give it her all. That’s what you lose if you’re LSU and she’s out of the game for the last four minutes.

“When you lose Angel, you lose a big part of what they do, because she touches the ball and she makes the right decisions.”

“Experience — that was a big hit for us,” LSU’s Flau’jae Johnson said of Reese’s absence after fouling out. “We had four minutes left — that’s too much time to not have Angel Reese on the floor.”

It was the Gamecocks’ 28th consecutive road victory, the longest streak in SEC history and the sixth longest ever in D-I.

LSU had jumped out to lead by as many as 11 in the first half, with Staley saying that the Tigers “had their way with us.” But a 3-pointer to end the half from MiLaysia Fulwiley kept the Gamecocks within striking distance. After the half, the team outscored LSU 40-29.

“It was a game of runs,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “They made big plays. We made big plays. The team that made the last play was the one that was going to win this basketball game.”

With the win, Staley moves to 15-0 against LSU since 2012, while LSU head coach Kim Mulkey is 1-4 all time against South Carolina (0-3 with LSU, 1-1 with Baylor).

“I think we’re one of the top teams in the country,” Mulkey said after the loss. “Losing to South Carolina the way we did sent a message that we’re not going away.”