COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Zia Cooke scored 16 points, Aliyah Boston had 10 points and 13 rebounds for her 67th career double-double and No. 1 South Carolina steamrolled Charleston Southern 87-23 on Sunday.
The Gamecocks opened 11-0 for the second straight season and the fourth time in coach Dawn Staley’s 15 seasons in charge.
Talaysia Cooper added 14 points while midyear enrollee Chloe Kitts had 10 points and seven rebounds in her college debut.
This one appeared to be a mismatch from the start and quickly played out that way. South Carolina scored the first 11 points and rolled out to a 20-3 lead after the first quarter.
Charleston Southern (2-9), shooting less than 33% all season, struggled even more against the Gamecocks’ smothering defense. The Buccaneers hit just one of 13 attempts during the quarter, then were held without points for the first nine minutes of the second before hitting a foul shot and Saniya Jones’ short shot with 32 seconds left before the break.
South Carolina, which is ranked third nationally with 50.4 rebounds a game, dominated the Bucs in that category, too. The Gamecocks held a 14-1 edge in offensive boards in the first half and outrebounded the Bucs 53-22.
Boston, who came up short on double-doubles in the past two games, made sure not to miss her chance to close in on the program’s all-time mark of 70 held by Sheila Foster, set from 1979-82.
- Ten of 11 Gamecocks scored in the game, with five ending in double digits.
- Zia Cooke opened up scoring for the Gamecocks, knocking down a 3 less than 20 sec into the game…Cooke finished with a team-high 16 points, including a buzzer 3 at the end of the third quarter.
- Newcomer Chloe Kitts made her first appearance as a Gamecock, tallying 10 points and seven rebounds, including her first career 3 in the second quarter, and opened up the scoring for South Carolina in the second half. She finished with 23 total minutes on the court.
- Aliyah Boston went 4-of-4 at the free throw line followed by a jumper in the beginning of the first quarter to put the Gamecocks up 11-0 early, in addition to eight of her 13 rebounds all in the first 10 minutes of the game.. posted her 67th career double-double by the end of the third quarter.
- Bree Hall knocked down a 3 in the third quarter to help the Gamecocks go on a 7-0 run, ending in double digits (10 points) for the second time this season.
- Talaysia Copper was great on both sides of the ball today, putting up 12 of her 14 total points in the final period, going 3-of-3 at the line, and 4-of-5 from the field, including a 3 with under four minutes to go