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Boston's Double Double Powers Carolina Past No. 25 Arkansas
Women's Basketball  . 

Boston's Double Double Powers Carolina Past No. 25 Arkansas


Associated Press

Box Score

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) South Carolina freshman Aliyah Boston shined even brighter than her team’s flashy yellow and orange shoes.
The freshman forward had 18 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots in the top-ranked Gamecocks’ 86-65 win at No. 25 Arkansas on Thursday.
It was unclear if the 6-foot-5 Boston would play after she was injured in Sunday’s 69-48 win against Tennessee.
”She was actually a game-time decision tonight,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. ”She didn’t practice the last two days, just trying to rest that lower leg. She felt good in the shoot-around and good warming up. Luckily for us she played.”
Arkansas junior guard Chelsea Dungee said Boston’s length in the low post was a huge factor on both ends of the floor. Dungee scored 16 points, but shot 7 of 25 from the floor.
”She definitely affects the game a lot, both offensively and defensively,” said Dungee, who had one shot attempt volleyball spiked by Boston. ”Offensively it’s hard to stop a 6-5, 6-6 player. Then when you drive it, you have to adjust your shot. That makes it difficult.”
Staley said Boston’s shot-blocking ability is uncanny, especially for a young player.
”I guess she has the principle of verticality down,” Stanley said. ”She doesn’t lean over too much. I think her ability to block shots, it’s more about understanding personnel. She understands scouting reports and player’s tendencies. So I think part of it is timing, part of it is understanding where people like to go in the floor.
”I’ve never been around a young player that has all of those attributes.”
South Carolina (22-1, 10-0 Southeastern Conference) jumped out to an early 9-0 lead and was never seriously threatened. The Gamecocks led 46-33 at halftime and led by as much as 23 points in the fourth quarter before Staley started substituting as the Gamecocks prepare for a huge game Monday at home against No. 4 UConn.
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors said his team (18-5, 6-4) made too many mental mistakes to compete with the Gamecocks.
”You cannot have any lapses against the No. 1 team in America,” Neighbors said. ”They’re too good, too balanced, too well-coached … they’re too everything.”
South Carolina: The Gamecocks had no problem winning their 16th straight game. They have not lost since November, a 71-57 setback to an Indiana team that still is ranked.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks were coming off an overtime win against Missouri. They have shown marked improvement under third-year coach Mike Neighbors, but the difference in these two programs was clearly evident in one glaring statistic – South Carolina’s 57-31 edge on the boards.
Staley wore a special pair of shoes that paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed in a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 26.
Staley’s shoes featured images of Kobe and Gianna and included both the No. 24 and the No. 8, which Bryant wore in a Hall of Fame career for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Staley said she was proud of women’s college basketball for scheduling prime-time matchups like her team’s upcoming clash with UConn, but she wished the timing of the game were different.
”I think we want to grow our game,” she said. ”Obviously, if you look at our UConn series, we haven’t been effective. We haven’t gotten any wins. But the buildup to it adds to it. I don’t prefer to play it in the middle of our conference, but I think it’s great for the women’s game.”
The Gamecock defense locked down the nation’s fourth highest-scoring offense, holding the Razorbacks to just 65 points, their second-lowest output of the season. Arkansas scored just 16 points in each of the final three quarters.
The Gamecocks continued their rebounding prowess on Thursday by out-rebounding Arkansas 57-31, including 19 offensive boards, which they turned into 24 second-chance points.

  • Carolina dominated in the paint, outscoring Arkansas 50-28.
  • The Gamecocks kept Arkansas off the free throw line, where it entered the game averaging 16.6 made free throws. The Razorbacks went to the line just seven times.
  • This win gives the Garnet and Black its eighth win over teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
  • The Gamecocks are 22-1, their best start since the 2015-16 squad opened the year 22-0.
  • Mikiah Herbert Harrigan scored a season-high 25 points, just two shy of tying her career high. The senior just missed out on a double-double as she finished with nine rebounds.
  • Aliyah Boston earned her ninth double-double of the season, fifth in SEC play, with 18 points and 15 rebounds. She also swatted seven shots, just one shy of the program record in an SEC game.
  • Zia Cooke poured in 14 points, her eighth SEC game in double figures. She also tied her career high for rebounds in conference play with six.


The Gamecocks (22-1, 10-0 SEC) return to the friendly confines of Colonial Life Arena for their biggest test in Columbia so far this year when No. 4 UConn (19-2, 9-0 AAC) comes to town on Monday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET with the game airing on ESPN2.

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