Hall scores career-best 21, No. 1 South Carolina pulls away from Missouri 81-57


COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Bree Hall scored a career-high 21 points, Te-Hina Paopao added 15 and top-ranked South Carolina pulled away in the second half for a 81-57 victory over short-handed Missouri on Thursday night.

The Gamecocks (15-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) led by just five midway through the third quarter before the Tigers (9-7, 0-3) went cold from the perimeter, allowing coach Dawn Staley's team to run its regular-season winning streak to 65 games.

The last time South Carolina lost was an overtime setback at Missouri on Dec. 30, 2021.

Hall was 8 of 10 from the field and 4 for 4 on 3-pointers, while Paopao was 3 for 4 from beyond the arc.

"We talked a lot about their two shooters and I just felt like they went 7 for 8 - shot it pretty darn well - but that was a point of emphasis," Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said. "They do shoot it well and you can't give them those looks."

Hall somewhat predicted her big night, telling her teammates she felt good during their shootaround.

"I just felt it today," she said. "I was really confident and I just felt like the game came to me."

Hayley Frank and Ashton Judd had 16 points apiece to lead the Tigers. Grace Slaughter finished with 12 points.

Missouri, already playing without starting guard Mama Dembele and two others due to injuries, was made even thinner by foul trouble that forced Pingeton into some freshman-heavy lineups in the first half.

Frank picked up her second foul with 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half, then her third a few minutes later. Judd got her second foul before the end of the first quarter, and Hannah Linthacum had her fourth by midway through the third.

The Gamecocks took advantage by using a 17-2 run late in the first half to take a 41-28 lead at the break.

"I would say for the quick adjustment of just being out of sorts a little bit with who had to handle the ball and run the point spot, I thought we did a decent job," Pingeton said. "We had some good looks, to be honest with you."

Frank and the Tigers kept firing from the perimeter, and her two 3-pointers out of the locker room helped them whittle their deficit to 47-42 midway through the third quarter - and perhaps had them thinking about another upset at Mizzou Arena.

But the Gamecocks proved to be entirely unflappable. They responded to the run by pushing their lead back to 13 by the start of the fourth quarter, and they were never threatened by the Tigers the rest of the way.


Dembele, the Tigers' floor leader, had 10 points and 10 assists in their loss to Alabama before hurting her knee during a collision with another player. Missouri already had been missing backup guard Averi Kroenke, who's been dealing with a foot injury, and UMass transfer Angelique Ngalakulondi, who has a shoulder injury.


South Carolina plays Kentucky on Monday night.

Missouri visits Vanderbilt on Sunday.