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      Lady Gamecocks back in NCAA's

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina and coach Dawn Staley are heading to consecutive NCAA tournaments for the first time in a decade.

      The fourth-seeded Gamecocks (23-7) will open against South Dakota State (25-7) in the Norfolk regional. South Carolina last played in back-to-back NCAAs in 2002 and 2003. They reached the round of 16 a season ago before losing to Stanford and Staley built on that run all offseason to make it back this winter.

      South Carolina started 10-0 matching the best start in program history. It won a school record 11 games in the Southeastern Conference. And they did it with Staley's trademark, in-your-face defensive style. They've given up just 49.5 points a game, the country's fourth-best defense. Senior guard Ieasia Walker was voted the SEC's defensive player of the year.

      (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)