South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso has injury scare in Final Four, scores 22 in 23 minutes

CLEVELAND (AP) — South Carolina star center Kamilla Cardoso briefly exited the Gamecocks’ 78-59 win over North Carolina State in the women’s Final Four on Friday night with a right leg injury.

The scare did little to slow Cardoso down. The 6-foot-7 player dominated down low, finishing with 22 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes as the unbeaten Gamecocks advanced to their second national title game in three years. South Carolina will play either Caitlin Clark and Iowa or Paige Bueckers and UConn on Sunday, and Cardoso’s health could be a concern.

Cardoso scored 12 straight points in the second quarter and was driving toward the basket late in the period when she tumbled to the floor. She got up and limped down the floor before committing a foul at the other end with 1:39 left. She was replaced by Ashlyn Watkins.

Cardoso went back to the training room to be evaluated. She returned at the start of the second half, having replaced a white sleeve on her right leg with a black one.

South Carolina took off in the third quarter with Cardoso back on the floor. The Gamecocks outscored the Wolfpack 29-6 in the period.

Cardoso made the last of her 10 field goals on a layup with 2:35 left in the third that put South Carolina up 19. She headed to the bench with 1:57 remaining in the period and watched the final quarter on the sideline with the game well in hand.

The Brazil native jogged off the floor shortly after the final buzzer, waving to the crowd.


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