STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Zia Cooke scored 16 points and Aliyah Boston added 12 to help No. 1 South Carolina remain unbeaten with a 58-51 win over Mississippi State on Sunday.
The Gamecocks were held to a season-low point total on 19 of 65 (29%) shooting, but were able to find a way. Boston added 15 rebounds in the win.
South Carolina (16-0, 3-0 SEC) had a massive advantage at the free throw line where the Gamecocks were 14 of 24 while MSU was 2 of 5. The Gamecocks also dominated the boards with a 53-35 edge including 22 offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs also surrendered 25 offensive rebounds to Tennessee in a loss earlier this week.
It was another stellar defensive showing for Mississippi State (12-5, 1-3), which is second in the SEC in scoring defense and top five nationally. South Carolina came into the game averaging 82 points.
Jerkaila Jordan led the way for the Bulldogs against the defending National Champions with 13 points and five rebounds. Jessika Carter had 11 points on 5 of 11 with nine rebounds and had nine of those points in the fourth quarter.
- On a tough-shooting night, the Gamecocks locked in in the fourth quarter, hitting 54.4 percent (6-of-11).
- The Gamecocks went on an 18-7 run in the second quarter to put themselves on top after being down seven at the end of the first.
- South Carolina scored 20 second chance points compared to the Bulldogs’ two.
- Zia Cooke ended in double-digit points for the eighth consecutive game, with 11 of her 16 points coming in the first half – including six of South Carolina’s first 12.
- Aliyah Boston claimed a new Gamecock record, moving into the No. 1 spot for rebounds in SEC play as part of her ninth double-double of the season (69th in her career), with 12 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.
- Brea Beal delivered at key moments in the fourth quarter, contributing a clutch 3, a defensive rebound and drawing a foul in the final 2:23 to help hold off a Bulldog rally.
- Raven Johnson gave South Carolina its first lead of the game, scoring her third three of the season on a 9-2 run…she ended the second quarter 3-of-3 from the field to end with seven points in a career-high 21 minutes.