Nov. 10, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Double-Doubles from both junior forward Aleighsa Welch and freshman center Alaina Coates propelled No. 22/21 South Carolina (2-0) to a victory over Louisiana Tech (0-1) 68-45 in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena.
“I like to see our post players be involved in the game,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said of the effort. “It is not that we are just getting them the ball and they are scoring. They are scoring off of offensive rebounds. They are pretty active.”
The Gamecocks came out strong, taking advantage of the Lady Techsters’ zone defense. Sophomore guards Khadijah Sessions and Asia Dozier capitalized by making 3’s early. Despite struggling to find the post, South Carolina displayed athleticism on fast breaks, beginning the contest on a 16-4 run.
When Louisiana Tech freshman guard JaQuan Jackson scored on back-to-back fast break opportunities, the Lady Techsters looked to have found their groove. The baskets cut into the South Carolina lead, making the score 16-10 at the midway point of the first half.
However, the Gamecocks took advantage of the Lady Techsters’ turnovers, pushing them on an 8-0 run. The surge, which featured increased inside scoring, boosted their advantage to 25-10 just before the final media timeout of the half.
The teams traded baskets for the four remaining minutes before the break, but Louisiana Tech could get no closer than 10. South Carolina took a 31-17 lead into the locker room.
The Gamecocks came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, with four different players scoring to jump out to a 44-20 upper hand within the first five minutes.
After South Carolina stretched out a 27-point lead, Louisiana Tech attempted to make a run with twelve minutes remaining in the contest, scoring seven-straight points.
Despite a valiant effort by the Lady Techsters, the Gamecocks had an answer for everything and captured the 68-45 victory.
Welch led all scorers with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the 11th double-double of her career. In just her second collegiate game, Coates posted her first double-double, recording 12 points and 10 rebounds. Sessions posted a career-high five assists and added seven points. Junior center Elem Ibiam and sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell also contributed double digits, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively, to round out a complete team effort.
The Gamecocks scored 38 of their 68 points in the paint and recorded 19 points on second-chance opportunities.
Jackson led Louisiana Tech with 13 points and junior guard Kanedria Andrews led the team on the glass, reeling in five rebounds.
The Gamecocks return to Colonial Life Arena for an 8 p.m., game against College of Charleston on Thurs., Nov. 14. Stay connected to GamecocksOnline.com for more details.