SC coach Dawn Staley responds to accusations from Missouri as controversy continues

Hope Soto
February 3, 2018

Sterk on Tuesday called out USC for how it handled Sunday's women's basketball game between the Gamecocks and Tigers.

Robin Pingeton, Missouri's coach, was slightly more tempered in her response. "These are daughters. There were some things that were really unfortunate that transpired", Pingeton said, per Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. There is no place in our game for that. She didn't blame SC coach Dawn Staley, choosing instead to call on fans of both teams to do "better". All around - their side, our side, fans gotta be better.

For USC head coach Dawn Staley, she loves playing this game against UCONN not only what it does for her team but for the sport. Not only verbally, and some other things that you alluded to.

Staley responded strongly Wednesday during a press conference at Colonial Life Arena, calling Sterk's accusations "serious and false".

Sterk, who attended the game, subsequently went on Columbia, Mo., radio station KTGR and said, "We had players spit on and called the n-word and things like that", Sterk said. "I mean, it was not a good environment, and unfortunately, I think, Coach Staley promoted that kind of atmosphere, and it's unfortunate she felt she had to do that".

There's no available footage from the ESPN2 broadcast to show if fans indeed spit on the Mizzou players after the game.

SC athletic director Ray Tanner said he investigated what occurred when Missouri left the court and found no evidence to back up Sterk's charges. "In anticipation of this rivalry game, the athletics department provided security for the Missouri basketball team, above its standard operating procedure", he said.

"The athletics department conducted a review of our operations from the game, including interviews with staff and security personnel", Tanner said. He said he was unable to confirm the alleged behavior from his own investigation.

During the Missouri game there was a brief scuffle when South Carolina's Alexis Jennings and Missouri's Kayla Michaels battled for a loose ball and both hit the floor hard still locked up.

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On Tuesday, Sterk faulted Staley for promoting an atmosphere that allowed the behavior to allegedly happen.

Tanner said the school did not find evidence or confirmation of the incident.

After Missouri's upset win against then-No.

Staley's comments came as she prepared her squad for a showdown Thursday with top-ranked CT.

"I was very confused", he said.

"I'll just say, surrounding the situation that we've had to deal with the last few days, I was very confused", Tanner told the media. Every single day of the week. They understand basketball. They understand how to act in the stands.

Amid the controversy of Sunday's game, Missouri's stretch of tough games doesn't get any easier.

No. 15 Missouri's next game is at home against No. 2 Mississippi State on Thursday.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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