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Thanks to a USC student’s screenshot on ESPN, Pearl Moore got what she deserved

“What about Pearl Moore?????”

That question from USC student Sarah Royal was aired via a Snapchat screenshot Sunday on ESPN’s “College GameDay” before No. 1 South Carolina’s game against Georgia — and it quickly went viral.

Moore scored 4,061 career points from 1975-79 during the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) era of college basketball. The Florence, South Carolina, native tallied 177 points at Anderson Junior College, then went on to score the remaining 3,884 at Francis Marion under head coach Sylvia Hatchell.

Moore’s accomplishments — and Lynette Woodard’s major women’s college scoring record of 3,649 points from 1978-81 — have gained more attention over the last few days, after Iowa’s Caitlin Clark set the new NCAA scoring record with 3,569 career points Thursday against Michigan.

Royal, however, had no idea what she was getting in to while holding up a phone showing the screenshot — next to on on-air talent Holly Rowe at Colonial Life Arena.

The 22-year-old biology major at South Carolina had never been to a women’s basketball game before this season; “It’s pretty bad,” Royal conceded. “I don’t know anything about basketball.”

The Lexington native was holding her friend Mack Ramage’s phone so Ramage could display a sign aimed at the No 1 class of 2024 recruit: “We Want Sarah Strong!” Ramage (standing next to Royal) is a lifelong USC women’s hoops fan and has been attending games since her grandparents became season ticketholders when Ramage was in fifth grade.

So what about the question?????

“I give myself no credit,” Royal assured her friend.

Ramage, 21, hails from Irmo, South Carolina. Her love for and knowledge of women’s basketball stems from her grandmother Mary Hoskins. Now a 71-year-old retired court reporter, Hoskins played basketball in middle and high school back when the girls game only occupied the halfcourt.

Ramage around was 5 years old when USC coach Dawn Staley arrived in town. She’s grown into a huge fan of both the coach and team over the years.

The civil engineering major watched the Gamecocks make history Sunday, setting a new SEC regular season wins record with 43 straight victories, snatching the honor from Tennessee — a long time benchmark for excellence in the sport.

“But what about Pearl Moore?????”

Ramage learned of Moore (who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021) as the coverage around Clark’s record began to unfold. Ramage felt for Moore and Woodward when she learned of their accomplishments, believing both women should receive the recognition they deserve as Clark’s record is celebrated.

With Moore being from South Carolina, Ramage felt a sense of urgency to highlight her story.

“I think she’s amazing and should definitely have all the respect,” Ramage said. “…I respect her for her game and for what she’s done before women’s basketball was even respected as a sport. She did a lot for the game.”

After South Carolina’s 70-56 victory over Georgia, Staley urged followers of women’s basketball to make room for all who have uplifted the sport.

“Anybody that’s contributed to our game in any era needs to be highlighted,” Staley said. “I know Pearl Moore is from South Carolina. And while we want to highlight her, we don’t want to dampen the contributions of Caitlin Clark.

“There’s room for all of it. We just can’t be singularly focused on just one person. Because everybody’s contributed. I think it’s Caitlin’s time now. And I do think at times we get a narrow view of all the specialness of our sport. But there’s room to highlight those who are contributing in a historical way and those who are just holding serve. All of it, all of it matters.”