Kamilla Cardoso blocks, stares down DEFIANTLY at Angel Reese during the epic South Carolina-LSU showdown

South Carolina women’s basketball’s Thursday night matchup against LSU more than lived up to the hype, with the Gamecocks pulling out a thrilling 76-70 victory despite trailing from the 8:31 mark in the first quarter until there was 6:06 left in the game.

A big part of that win was Kamilla Cardoso, the Brazilian 6-foot-7 senior center who didn’t fill up the stat sheet but was engaged in a defensive battle with Angel Reese all night.

The two shot each other looks every time one blocked the other, with the highlight coming in the third quarter when Cardoso swatted away a Reese drop-step in the post.

Reese limited Cardoso to 11 points, but it came at the cost of fouling out down the stretch of the hotly contested game. Reese’s fifth foul came in transition and kept the Tigers’ best player off the floor for the final four minutes of the game.

Cardoso and Reese finished the game with a pair of blocks each, and somehow each only went to the line once (they both made their free throws). Cardoso’s other block was a visually easy swat that she sent a few rows up.

Ultimately, the difference ended up being the old adage: The best ability is availability. Cardoso finished the game with just one foul.

Bree Hall ended up getting the postgame interview, thanks to a pair of huge threes down the stretch that ended up being the difference in the score. But Cardoso’s unrelenting presence inside helped South Carolina force LSU out of its game. 27% of LSU’s shots came from beyond the arc in this game, as opposed to 16% leading into the game.

While it was hardly a pretty finish for Cardoso and the Gamecocks, they move to 18-0 (6-0 SEC) on the season, while dropping the defending national champions to 18-3 (5-2 SEC) on the year.

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