Kamilla Cardoso injures knee, returns for South Carolina in Final Four


CLEVELAND — South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso helped lead South Carolina back to the national championship game after injuring her right knee in the second quarter of Friday’s first Final Four matchup.

The Gamecocks throttled the Wolfpack 78-59. Cardoso finished the game with 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting. She pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked two shots. 

Cardoso, who came up limping after falling under the basket with about 2 minutes remaining in the second quarter, returned after halftime wearing a big wrap on her right leg.

She was grimacing when she ran up and down the court, but appeared to move better as the third quarter wore on. Cardoso started the fourth quarter on the bench, a brace on top of the sleeve. She also spent some time on the bike.

The 6-foot-7 center already had scored 16 points in 15 minutes of play and helped South Carolina to a 32-31 halftime lead before she was hurt.

She hobbled for two trips down the court, but committed a foul with 1:39 to play — possibly so she could get out of the game.

She limped off the floor and headed back to the locker room immediately.

One of the best defensive players in the country who has improved significantly on the offensive end, her size impacts every position defensively, as opposing teams are hesitant to drive to the rim or even pull up in the paint because of her ability to alter their shot.

Cardoso has played in 31 games this season, averaging 14.1 points on 58.9% shooting, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.1 assists per game.

Cardoso declared for the WNBA draft on April 1.


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