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Finding love through defense: the Gamecock power couple of Brea Beal and Jaycee Horn

UVA BIO PICby:Mike Uva04/03/22

Mike_Uva

For South Carolina’s Brea Beal and Jaycee Horn, locking down defenders is more than just a job to this this Gamecocks couple. It’s a mindset that they’re committed to doing; together.

“Seeing her go out there and tap into that dog mentality and take the other team’s best player out of the game, I can resonate with that a lot,” said Horn, who is now a member of the Carolina Panthers about his girlfriend and Gamecock women’s basketball star Beal.

“If you want to be the best then you really need to dedicated yourself to be the best,” said Beal, on the eve of South Carolina playing in Sunday night’s national championship game against UConn.

While the two compete on different playing surfaces, there’s more similarities the two share when you think about the angles you need to take to be a great defender in both sports.

“It comes with a lot of film time. Believe it or not, I’ve actually learned so much about football,” shared Beal. “I’ve watched him and his mentality and the heart he has. I’ve definitely told him he encourages me a lot.”

“The main thing we talk about is just mentality,” said Horn, who made the trip out to Minnesota this weekend for Final Four weekend. “Just her mindset going into the game and starting fast and just being a dog and just being able to build on where she’s already been.”

But Beal admits she’s learned much more than just X’s and O’s from horn that has helped her grow her game.

“For me, watching him is more of a mental thing,” said Beal. “Watching him prepare, he’s disciplined to a point where he’s going to bed at a certain time, off the phone at a certain time, eating certain things. Just watching him and learning from that. If you want to be the best then you really need to dedicated yourself to be the best.”

Coming off one of her best defensive performance of the year, and back-to-back games where she has tied a season-high in scoring, the real question is who’s more nervous about tonight’s national championship game?

“He feels like he’s the one playing out there. He’s been going to bed early still and just chilling,” Beal said with a smile. “He’s been encouraging.”



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