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Dec. 21, 2014

Box Score

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Team 1st 2nd Total
Liberty (6-5) 20 24 44
South Carolina (12-0) 44 40 84
Coach Staley

MINNEAPOLIS – No. 1/1 South Carolina posted its 12th-straight win Sunday afternoon, 84-44 over Liberty, behind an efficient offense and a dominating effort on the glass. Junior Tiffany Mitchell shot past 1,000 points in her career early in the game, and super subs Alaina Coates and A’ja Wilson sparked an early 16-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 15-point lead midway through the first half.

Mitchell wasted little time getting into the flow of the game as ball movement found her open on the perimeter early. Her 3 from the left side put the Gamecocks on top 5-2, and her pull-up jumper from the right elbow marked the 1,000th point of her career less than four minutes into the contest.

The Lady Flames took a 10-9 lead off a turnover in the backcourt, but Mitchell answered with a fade away. Liberty’s Karly Buer, who finished the half with eight points, put her team back up 12-11 with 13:38 to play before the Gamecocks brought Coates and Wilson off the bench to work the high-low game to perfection.

Elem Ibiam opened the 16-0 surge with a move on the left block, and Aleighsa Welch turned a Khadijah Sessions steal in to a pull-up jumper on the other end for a 15-12 Gamecock advantage. From there, either Coates or Wilson – and occasionally both – were involved in the next 10 points. Coates kicked things off by tipping in her own miss and fed Wilson from the high post on the next possession. The freshman completed the traditional three-point play, and, following a Coates steal on the other end, the duo repeated the effort to make it a double-digit lead at 23-12 with 9:47 left in the half. Wilson blocked a shot on the defensive end then led the break, feeding Welch for a layup in transition. Another Wilson blocked shot sent the Gamecocks back on offense, where Bianca Cuevas hit a long jumper in transition to cap the run and put the Gamecocks up 27-12 with 8:37 to play in the period.

After taking a 44-20 lead into the locker room at halftime, the Gamecocks used their bench extensively in the second period, holding the Lady Flames at bay throughout.

Five Gamecocks finished in double figures, led by Wilson’s 17 points. Welch finished with 15 on 6-of-8 shooting, and Mitchell closed her outing with 14. Ibiam and Cotes rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points each.


South Carolina mounted a 16-0 run early in the first half, including 10 points in which either Alaina Coates or A’ja Wilson either scored or assisted on the basket. The spurt turned an 11-12 deficit into a 27-12 advantage with 8:37 to go in the period.

KEY STAT The Gamecocks committed just eight turnovers in the game, recovering from yesterday’s 12-turnover first half.


  • A’ja Wilson matched her career high with 10 rebounds, completing the second double-double of her career. She also tied her career high with three blocked shots.
  • At least five Gamecocks scoring in double figures for the fourth time this season.
  • With 12 straight wins, South Carolina is one shy of the program’s longest win streak of 13, which came during the 1985-86 season.
  • South Carolina won its ninth game by at least 20 points this season, including its fourth straight.


South Carolina returns from the holiday break and will host Auburn on Fri., Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. in the SEC opener for both teams. That game will air live on the SEC Network.