An early run propels South Carolina over Alabama

When South Carolina, the reigning national champions of women’s basketball, crashed Coleman Coliseum on Thursday night, Alabama was seeking to snap a 13-game losing streak to the Gamecocks that stretched back to January 2008. Through one quarter – minus two seconds, perhaps – there was a glimmer of hope that the home team could pull off a miraculous victory that would change the trajectory of the season.

Lexi Graber makes the most of her opportunity

Nicknames are ingrained in sports culture. Some are earned by athletes through their legendary play, such as Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky; others allude to an athlete’s trademark appearance, like Shaquille “Diesel” O’Neal. It did not take long for freshman Lexi Graber to become known by her coaches and teammates as the “firecracker.”