Dawn Staley livid with fouls called in Missouri loss
The South Carolina women's basketball team suffered their second loss of the 2017-2018 season after falling to Missouri 83-74 in a controversial loss. It's the second year in a row the Gamecocks have lost at Missouri after losing 62-60 to the Tigers a year ago.
Missouri star Sophie Cunningham stood out for the Tigers by scoring 26 points in the contest and shooting 9 for 10 from the field.
The biggest story for the Gamecocks, however, was the number of fouls called on them in such a short period of time. South Carolina was called for four offensive fouls in the first four minutes of the game and two of those fouls were on star forward A'ja Wilson. Wilson eventually fouled out of the contest scoring just 8 points in Sunday's loss.
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley was not pleased with the way Wilson's fouls were called against Missouri.
"I've never seen anyone play half a game the way A'ja Wilson played today," Staley said. "And I don't know what it is, but we're going to figure it out!"
Staley was ejected during Sunday's loss to the Tigers after getting her first technical for arguing with the officials and then a second technical for taking too long to substitute Wilson out of the game once she was fouled out. After the game, Staley said she had texted SEC coordinator of officials Sally Bell before the game about the officials chosen for their game against the Missouri.
"I texted her before this game because we had two of the same referees that we had last year," Staley said. "And I don't know if that's just coincidental, and maybe it was, because that's what she said... You gotta do better. I'm not saying that they're the reason why (we lost), but you gotta do better when you're coordinating officials in games and all of that."
Staley then made the argument that losing a player of Wilson's stature for half the game can impact the league come tournament time.
"It has NCAA implications," Staley said. "When we have to play people that don't play 20-30 minutes in our program, that's hard. That's really hard for a top team in the country... for a top team in the country to be without their top player for half a game."
South Carolina's next game is at home when they host Auburn on January 11th. They will also have a rematch against Missouri at Colonial Life Arena on January 28th at 6 pm.