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South Carolina’s Raven Johnson: ‘This is a revenge season’

Raven Johnson and South Carolina are off to a roaring start this season. (Jeff Blake/USA TODAY Sports)

The revenge tour continues for Raven Johnson and South Carolina.

After knocking off two top-20 opponents in back-to-back games last week and taking over the No. 1 ranking from LSU, South Carolina dismantled Clemson 109-40 on Thursday. Gamecocks freshman MiLaysia Fulwiley was once again a walking highlight reel, while sophomore Raven Johnson put on a clinic with six points, 17 assists, eight rebounds and five steals.

Johnson joined some elite company with that performance. The guard is just the third Division I player in the last five seasons to register five points, five rebounds, five steals and 15 assists against a Power Five team, joining Courtney Vandersloot and Chelsea Gray.

Her 17 assists are also the second-most in a game in South Carolina history, and the most by any SEC player since 2005, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

“Going off from last season, the Final Four game, after we lost — the whole season I feel like everybody was riding our coattails, just hyping us up. As soon as we lost, we got all these hate comments,” Johnson said after the Clemson win. “I got bashed from a viral video that went so viral. People don’t know behind the scenes how I felt and what I went through. I think that put fuel to the fire.”

The viral video in question is of Iowa star Caitlin Clark waving off Johnson, refusing to defend her from the 3-point line during the teams’ matchup in the 2023 Final Four. Johnson went 3-for-6 from deep in South Carolina’s 77-73 loss to Iowa, and has since used that moment as fuel.

“I said this was a revenge season and I got something for everybody, every team that comes up,” Johnson said. “So I think that was the best thing that ever happened to me, and God does things for a reason. So maybe I needed that. But I’ll say this team, we’re coming for a lot. So it’s definitely revenge season.”