Just over a year since their most recent defeat, the top-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks have been knocked off their perch.
The No. 8 North Carolina State Wolfpack defeated South Carolina, 54-46, on the road to end the Gamecocks' 29-game winning streak on Thursday night. It was South Carolina's first home loss since Mar. 3, 2019.
North Carolina State led, 48-46, with under a minute to play when senior forward Kayla Jones hit a 3-pointer to essentially secure the victory. Jones finished with a team-high 16 points and 12 rebounds.
South Carolina sophomores Zia Cooke and Aliyah Boston—who were both included on the John R. Wooden Award preseason watchlist—finished with 11 and 9 points, respectively, combining to shoot 8-for-32 from the field.
South Carolina took a 44-43 lead on a jumper by Boston with 5:10 remaining, but the Wolfpack took control down the stretch, ending the game on an 11-2 run.
The game was a defensive struggle, with both teams shooting under 30% from the field. North Carolina State held the advantage at the free throw line, making 10-of-12 attempts compared to South Carolina going 4-for-11.
South Carolina went 32-1 and went undefeated in SEC play last season, finishing the year ranked No. 1 in the AP poll before the 2020 NCAA tournament was canceled. North Carolina State finished No. 8 in the AP poll last season, going 27-4 overall and 14-4 in the ACC. The Wolfpack defeated Florida State in the ACC tournament final, winning their first conference tournament championship since 1991.