South Carolina’s women’s basketball team didn’t play their a-game in the SEC quarterfinals, and their coach spoke on that in her postgame presser.

Friday afternoon’s matchup between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Texas A&M Aggies was closer than most people expected coming into the game.

While the Aggies made some defensive adjustments compared to how they played the Gamecocks the first time back in the regular season, the feeling was that Carolina made many unforced errors, something that could be attributed to the lack of postseason experience with this specific group.

Dawn Staley talking to her team during a timeout in their quarterfinal matchup vs. Texas A&M (8th Mar., 2024)

“With us, it’s our first tournament game with this team, and you don’t know how they’re gonna respond to it.

I don’t think they met the moment, especially in the first quarter, Dawn Staley expressed in her postgame presser.

“Then slowly, we started playing the way we needed to play, and then Texas A&M just started forcing us to do things that we didn’t want to do. So yes, they had a lot to do with it, but we also had a lot [of] self-inflicted wounds.

So hopefully, we knocked the rust off, and we can get back to better basketball.”

The number that best encapsulates the sloppy play the Gamecocks displayed in their quarterfinal win is the 24 turnovers they had, which is even more frustrating when considering how well South Carolina played as a unit offensively when they weren’t coughing up the basketball.

“We did assist on 20 of our 29 baskets; we just couldn’t get enough of that because the turnovers got in the way, but I like that about our team. That is something we’ve been working on, and we’ve made our team aware of throughout the season, so I was happy for them.

I did tell them that after the game, but I mean, the 24 turnovers are a killer,” Staley lamented. “I mean, it didn’t shoot us in the foot as badly as it could [of], but I will say if we play like this in the semifinals, that’ll be our last game here in Greenville.”