Nov. 15, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Four Gamecocks scored in double figures and No. 2/2 South Carolina outscored UNCG 52-18 in the paint en route to a 92-44 win over the Spartans (1-1) Sunday at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks’ frontcourt dominated on both ends as sophomore A’ja Wilson and senior Sarah Imovbioh each finished with double-doubles in the contest.
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley asked her team to look inside more often following their win over No. 6/10 Ohio State on Friday, and Carolina answered the call with its first 10 points coming down low. Wilson would finish with 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting, 10 rebounds and a career-high tying six blocks, while Imovbioh added 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and a team-high 11 boards.
UNCG hung tough throughout the first quarter after a Shanese Harris 3 cut the Gamecock lead to 13-12 with 3:45 to go in the opening stanza. The Gamecocks, however, would go on a 14-4 run to end the quarter, capped off by a Bianca Cuevas 3 at the buzzer to give South Carolina a 27-16 advantage.
South Carolina ramped up the defense in the second quarter forcing four turnovers during a 12-0 spurt midway through the period to extend its lead to 25 at 43-18 with 4:12 left in the period. The Gamecocks outscored UNCG 30-8 in the paint in the first half, forced 12 turnovers and converted 17 points-off-turnovers while shooting 50% from three-point range to take a 53-25 lead into halftime.
In the first 4:00 of the third quarter, the Gamecocks outscored UNCG 11-3 after a Tina Roy 3, forcing a Spartan timeout. The run, however, continued as Carolina stretched the lead to 71-28 mid-way through the quarter. Carolina held UNCG to nine third-quarter points and held an 80-34 lead heading into the fourth.
Senior guard Tiffany Mitchell and scored 10 points and added five assists, while Cuevas chipped in 10 points. South Carolina out-rebounded the Spartans 48-36 and converted 28 points on 21 UNCG turnovers.
The Gamecocks closed the first quarter on a 14-4 run capped off by a Bianca Cuevas three pointer at the buzzer to give South Carolina an 11-point lead going into the break.
South Carolina outscored UNCG 52-18 in the paint, while the Gamecock bench outscored the Spartan bench 39-11.
- South Carolina shot 52% from the field, including 54.1% in the first half on its way to 53 first-half points. They held UNCG to just 25.8% shooting and 23.1% from behind the arc.
- The Gamecocks used a 12-0 spurt over nearly five minutes through the second quarter, forcing four turnovers to extend lead to 25.
- Sophomore forward A’ja Wilson’s six blocks tied her career-high, which stands as the fourth-most blocks in a game in school history.
- The Gamecocks forced 21 UNCG turnovers and won the points-off-turnovers battle, 28-4.
South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley
I’m extremely pleased with Sarah. She’s the consummate team player. She’s a sacrificer. She does all of the blue-collar work that some of our other post players aren’t doing. She doesn’t mind doing them. She just wants to win, and she just wants to contribute. She is great to have on the team. She’s coachable, and she wants to get better. I’m glad she chose us to finish her career off.
The Gamecocks begin a five-game road stretch as they head to the Upstate to take on the Clemson Tigers (1-1) Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Gamecocks travel to UCLA and then on to Hawaii for three games in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Always a great Sunday when I get to watch a win by @GamecockWBB Congrats, ladies! #TheShowSC
— Gamecock Lady (@gamecocklady76) November 15, 2015