PARIS — Kamilla Cardoso had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks as No. 6 South Carolina opened in style with a 100-71 victory over No. 10 Notre Dame in the NCAA’s first women’s game in Paris on Monday.
Cardoso is a 6-foot-7 senior who came off the bench behind WNBA No. 1 draft pick Aliyah Boston the past two seasons. Now, she has the middle all to herself and was dominant for South Carolina (1-0), hitting nine of 14 shots for her 17th career double-double.
The Gamecocks used a 24-6 run in the second quarter to break away from the Fighting Irish (0-1) and improve to 14-2 in openers under coach Dawn Staley.
Hannah Hidalgo, a five-star freshman ranked as the fifth-best college prospect by ESPN.com, led Notre Dame with 31 points.
South Carolina’s mostly new lineup struggled early to find its flow. Once the Gamecocks did, they took off on a back-breaking second-quarter surge to take control. Raven Johnson got it going with a pair of jumpers while Cardoso had five of the next seven points for a 35-29 lead.
Freshman MiLaysia Fulwiley hit a 3-pointer then followed moments later with a drive through Notre Dame’s defense where she put the ball behind her back, kept it and finished with a flip shot as Gamecocks fans who flocked across the pond to watch history went wild.
Fulwiley finished with 17 points, among five Gamecocks in double figures.
THE BIG PICTURE
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish were without star guard Olivia Miles, who averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game a year ago, as she continues her rehab from a knee injury sustained during the ACC Tournament last March. When Miles returns, she and Hidalgo should form a high-scoring backcourt.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks used defense and a relentless pace to do what they have done much of the last four seasons — wear down opponents. Notre Dame shot 50% and had just two turnovers the first 10 minutes. South Carolina clamped down in the second quarter, where the Irish were just 4-of-15 shooting with six turnovers.
Notre Dame: Visits NJIT on Sunday.
South Carolina: Hosts No. 12 Maryland on Sunday.
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