Louisville senior guard Antonita Slaughter was cleared to return playing after collapsing during a game last month because of a blood clot.
Friday's announcement marks a stunning turnaround for Slaughter, whom Cardinals coach Jeff Walz had said would miss the remainder of the season after she collapsed on the bench against Missouri State on Dec. 3. The 6-foot-1 Louisville native was hospitalized for several days and tests revealed a blood clot requiring blood thinners.
Further tests at the Mayo Clinic determined the clot had cleared and that Slaughter no longer required medication. She returned to practice Thursday with the No. 7 Cardinals (14-1), and Walz said she could play against Cincinnati on Saturday.
"We're thrilled to have Antonita back, but more importantly, we're thrilled that she is OK," the coach said.
"It's going to take a while. ... It's not something where she'll just jump back and be out there playing 25, 30 minutes a game. She's gone an entire month of no activity."
Slaughter, a starter who played a key role in Louisville's run to last spring's NCAA final, was the Cardinals' fifth-leading scorer (9.3 points) and most consistent 3-point shooter when her illness was discovered. She said in a statement that she was "excited" about resuming her career once thought to be in jeopardy.
"After being away the last month, I realized how much I love the game of basketball," the player said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to return and being able to contribute to my team. I am looking forward to competing with my team and picking up where we left off last year."
South Carolina 82, South Carolina State 75: Brenton Williams scored 19 points and Ty Johnson added 17 points to lead four players in double figures in South Carolina's victory. Williams and Johnson took control after the Bulldogs erased a 15-point deficit to tie the game at 60 with 7:02 remaining in the game. The duo each scored five points during a 13-5 run that gave the Gamecocks a 73-65 lead with 3:28 remaining. South Carolina State (4-9) would not get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
George Washington 73, Georgia 55: George Washington stayed perfect at home, and set a record for most non-conference wins in a season since joining the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1976, with a victory over Georgia. The win kept the Colonials (12-2) perfect in the Smith Center this season, while the Bulldogs' (6-6) road woes continued — they're 0-5 at away and neutral sites this season. Kethan Savage turned in the most energetic performance of both teams, pacing the Colonials with 18 points, six rebounds and three steals.