Women's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Stockton Region Elite 8 Game Breakdowns

Stockton Region Elite Eight Game Breakdown
South Carolina advanced to the Elite Eight after routing Quinnipiac 100-56 on Saturday afternoon in Stockton. The Gamecocks were extremely efficient at the offensive end of the court shooting 61 percent, including 10 made three-point shots. Kaela Davis scored 28 points and A’ja Wilson added 24 to lead the way for South Carolina. Allisha Gray had a big game as well, scoring 19 points and collecting eight rebounds. In the opening quarter, the Gamecocks came out of the blocks on fire and rushed out to a 22-7 lead after the opening ten minutes as the Bobcats missed their first ten shots. South Carolina also did an excellent job of limiting Quinnipiac’s Jen Fay to just 12 points and the Bobcats to 6-of-13 shots from behind the three-point line.
Florida State earned a trip to the Elite Eight thanks to a strong second half against Oregon State as the Seminoles beat the Beavers 66-53. Facing a five point deficit at halftime, Florida State went to work defensively as they limited Oregon State to just 18 points in the final two quarters. The turnover battle was also a game changer. The Seminoles forced 23 turnovers by the Beavers, while only committing nine at the offensive end. Ivery Slaughter had nine steals and Leticia Romero scored 18 points to lead the scoring attack for Florida State. This ability to relentlessly defend for four quarters is going to have to be carried over into Monday in order for the Seminoles to advance on to the Final Four. Also, the ability to get signature performances from players other than Shakayla Thomas was also huge as you know Thomas is going to be keyed on heavily by South Carolina on Monday night.
Now for the Gamecocks, they are going to have to continue to get outstanding play from their backcourt and try and get the tempo of the game up into the 70’s or 80’s without sacrificing too much at the defensive end of the court. The battle between Wilson and Thomas is going to be a fun one to watch and if Wilson can score 20 plus points it should cancel the offensive production from Thomas. The backcourt of Davis and Gray is going to have to take care of the basketball at a high level because they will face plenty of pressure from Romero, Brittany Brown and Ivery Slaughter. In addition, South Carolina is going to have to try and force the Seminoles to try and beat them from the perimeter as they were 0-for-5 from there-point range against Oregon State.
For Florida State, this where the tough non-conference scheduling approach from head coach Sue Semrau will pay off as battles against Connecticut, Texas, and Notre Dame should have them battled tested for this Elite Eight matchup. Some keys to victory will be getting off to a good start and staying in contact with the Gamecocks by keeping the game in single digits. Attacking the basket along with creating turnovers is going to be important as easy baskets will be at a premium in the half court. Shakayla Thomas will have to be better than 5-of-17 shooting the basketball and score in the vicinity of 20 points. Overall, look for this game to have pretty good ebb and flow with both teams making little runs early on and, if the Seminoles can wear down South Carolina with their pressure, this game will be decided in the final minutes. If Florida State can’t be effective defensively then the Gamecocks will win going away.