COLUMBIA --- Aiken native Ebony Jones matched her career high of 12 points, nine of which came in the second half, to lead South Carolina past Mississippi 71-62 at the Colonial Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Gamecocks (13-11, 2-7 Southeastern Conference) struggled in the first half, but outscored the Lady Rebels (9-13, 3-6) 44-35 after the break.
The first half was nip-and-tuck as both teams surged ahead by at least five points but could not maintain the lead.
Gamecocks freshman Jasmine Payne was the catalyst for a late first half push to tie the game 27-27 at the half.
South Carolina used an 8-0 run midway through the second half to grab an advantage and led 61-55 with 3:08 left to play. The game was then decided by free-throw shooting, where the Gamecocks excelled, hitting 10 of 12 over the final 2:25.
NO. 3 NORTH CAROLINA 75, GEORGIA TECH 61
In Atlanta, Rashanda McCants had 19 points, Erlana Larkins had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and North Carolina coasted to a win over Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels were sloppy with the ball at times, committing 27 turnovers. But with just five regular-season games remaining, they played well enough to keep building momentum toward March.
North Carolina (22-2, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extended its winning streak against Georgia Tech to 12 games.
Georgia Tech (18-6, 5-5), off to its best start in 30 years, lost for the third time in five games. But it stayed within striking distance against North Carolina, which had previously outscored opponents by an average of more than 26 points.
Wearing pink uniforms to raise breast cancer awareness, the Yellow Jackets gave the Tar Heels a tougher time than they did in a 21-point loss Jan. 5. Janie Mitchell had a team-high 22 points.