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Dec. 17, 2014

Box Score

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Team 1st 2nd Total
South Carolina (10-0) 37 32 69
Hampton (3-6) 25 24 49
Coach Staley

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 1/1 South Carolina used a 19-5 run in the first half to pull away en route to a 69-49 win at Hampton Wednesday night. Junior Tiffany Mitchell matched her career high with six 3-pointers to finish with 20 points, while Alaina Coates posted her second-straight double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. With the win, the Gamecocks matched their best start under head coach Dawn Staley with their third-straight 10-0 start to the season.

Both teams were effective from outside early, but when the Gamecocks got more aggressive on the inside on both ends of the floor, they pulled away. Mitchell hit back-to-back 3s from the same spot on the right sideline in the opening minutes of the game to give the Gamecocks an 11-8 lead. After the Lady Pirates tied it up with a 3 from Kenia Cole, Mitchell hit again from the right sideline at the 13:42 mark for a 14-12 advantage that South Carolina would never relinquish.

The Gamecocks built their 13-point halftime lead behind a 19-4 surge midway through the first half. A’ja Wilson opened the run with a putback, and Bianca Cuevas turned an Alaina Coates block and Aleighsa Welch defensive rebound into a transition layup that sparked more up-tempo play. With Coates dominating the defensive glass and the Gamecock defense forcing the Lady Pirates into tough shots, the lead ballooned quickly. Wilson hit a pair of free throws, and Cuevas buried a deep baseline jumper. An offensive rebound extended the next possession, and Wilson made it a double-digit lead with a free-throw line jumper to make it a 24-14 game with 8:23 to play in the period.

Hampton’s top scorer, Malia Tate-DeFreitas hit a 3 to interrupt the sweep, but the Gamecocks went right back to work with a free throw from Elem Ibiam and a putback from Khadijah Sessions. Tate-DeFreitas hit a pull-up jumper, and Mitchell answered with five straight points. Ibiam’s free throw made it a 33-19 game with three minutes left in the half.

The second half began with much of the same, although the Lady Pirates coaxed the Gamecocks into a series of fouls that would not allow South Carolina to pull away.

The Gamecocks finished with four scoring in double figures as Cuevas netted a career-high 12 points and Wilson posted her ninth-straight double-digit game with 12 as well. South Carolina shot 47.4 percent (9-19) from 3-point range, and out-rebounded the Lady Pirates 48-21.


After Alaina Coates and A’ja Wilson checked in at the 14:00 mark of the first half, South Carolina turned an 11-12 deficit into a 10-point lead at the 8:23 mark as the Gamecocks got more aggressive on the inside. Coates posted two blocks and three rebounds in the 6:23 stretch, while Wilson added four points, four rebounds, a block and a steal.


Tiffany Mitchell matched her career high with six 3-pointers, including hitting 4-of-4 in the first half to help the Gamecocks establish a comfortable advantage.


  • The Gamecocks scored 26 points in the paint and 27 points via the 3-point shot in a well-balanced offensive effort.
  • Tiffany Mitchell’s six 3s matched her career high set earlier this season against San Diego State (Nov. 23).
  • South Carolina’s nine 3-pointers matched their season high and the Staley era record.
  • Alaina Coates posted her second-straight double-double, third in the last four games and fifth on the season. Her 13 rebounds matched her season high.
  • Bianca Cuevas raised her career-high points with 12 in the game, including a pair of 3-pointers.
  • The Gamecocks’ bench scored 36 of the team’s 69 points, the fifth-straight game the reserves have accounted for at least half of the total scoring

QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley

On luxury of having Tiffany Mitchell when opponents focus on the post players
Tiffany is always in the gym – before practice, after practice. We always have to shoo her out of the gym. She’s that type of player. Any time that Tiffany is feeling it like she was tonight, she has to keep shooting. I thought she gave up a few (3s) and tried to drive in there and, maybe, over passed the ball. I’m real confident in Tiffany, and real confident in any of our players. Some of them didn’t have a great shooting night, but the beauty of our team is that you can’t concentrate on one person, you have to deal with our entire roster.


South Carolina wraps up its pre-holiday schedule in Minnesota’s Subway Classic this weekend. The Gamecocks will take on Central Michigan on Saturday and Liberty on Sunday. Both games will tip off at 1 p.m. (ET) and will be available on Big Ten Network Plus for free.