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Boston, Cooke on Wooden Award Late Season Top 20
Women's Basketball  . 

Boston, Cooke on Wooden Award Late Season Top 20

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball sophomores Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke were named to the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s Women’s Late Season Top 20 Watch List, announced today on ESPNU. They are the Gamecocks’ top two scorers this season and are two of the six SEC entries on the list, more than any other conference. The Gamecocks are one of three teams with multiple entries on the 20-player list.
Boston earned National Player of the Week honors last week and continues to dominate SEC play and make her case for National Player of the Year honors as well. She is one of 10 players in the country to record a triple-double this season and the only one to do it against a ranked opponent. She averages a double-double on the season (13.7 ppg / 11.5 rpg), against SEC teams (15.1 ppg / 12.7 rpg) and in the Gamecocks’ seven games against ranked opponents (14.3 ppg / 11.4 rpg). She has pulled down double-digit rebounds in nine straight games, including four against ranked opponents, to rank 16th in the nation in rebounding average. Boston’s ability to guard anywhere on the floor and her communication on defense are a key reason the Gamecock are among the stingiest teams in the nation, ranking 30th in the country in field goal percentage defense. In addition, she blocks an SEC-best 3.1 shots per game to rank ninth in the country.
Cooke is an explosive, dynamic scorer who leads the Gamecocks with 16.1 points per game (11th in the SEC) overall and is tied with Boston for team-high honors in SEC games (15.1 ppg). She has three 20-point games among her 12 double-figure scoring outings, and that number includes just two games under 15 points. She was the team’s top scorer in four of their seven games against ranked opponents this season. Cooke is shooting a team-best 42.3 percent from 3-point range and is second on the team in assists at 2.2 per game, including four games of four or more assists. Her 78.1 percent free throw shooting ranks eighth in the SEC.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the 2020-21 season thus far, the players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2021 John R. Wooden Awards Women’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the last season list are still eligible for the Wooden Award National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performances during early round games. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2021 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s following the NCAA Tournament in April.
Continue to check and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on the women’s basketball season.
2021 Wooden Award Late Season Top 20

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Paige Bueckers, Connecticut
Charli Collier, Texas
Zia Cooke, South Carolina
Elissa Cunane, NC State
Rennia Davis, Tennessee
Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas
Dana Evans, Louisville
Arella Guirantes, Rutgers
Naz Hillmon, Michigan
Rhyne Howard, Kentucky
Rickea Jackson, Mississippi State
Ashley Joens, Iowa State
Haley Jones, Stanford
Natasha Mack, Oklahoma State
Aari McDonald, Arizona
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, UConn
Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA
NaLyssa Smith, Baylor
Kiana Williams, Stanford