Boston leads No. 1 South Carolina to 89-48 rout of Texas A&M
The Gamecocks committed just seven turnovers and finished with a season-high point total
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Aliyah Boston had 18 points and 10 rebounds in three quarters as top-ranked South Carolina clinched the Southeastern Conference regular-season title with an 89-48 rout of Texas A&M on Thursday night.
Boston set an SEC record with her 20th consecutive double-double, passing former LSU star Sylvia Fowles.
The Gamecocks (26-1, 14-1) took control during the first half and cruised to their 14th consecutive victory.
Texas A&M (14-13, 4-11) got 11 points from Jordan Nixon as the Aggies dropped their fourth straight in coach Gary Blair’s last home game. He plans to retire after the season.
South Carolina led by 21 at halftime and a 7-1 run early in the third quarter made it 51-24. Boston scored nine points during a 13-3 run that extended the lead to 64-29 late in the third quarter.
Chants of ”MVP!” rained down from a small but vocal section of South Carolina fans as Boston made two free throws to cap the run before heading to the bench for good.
The Aggies scored the first four points of the game, but South Carolina soon took over, using a 19-4 run to lead by 11 at the end of the first quarter. The Gamecocks were up by 12 with about seven minutes left in the first half before a 14-3 spurt pushed it to 37-14.
Lele Grissett had six points in that stretch for South Carolina.
- With the win, South Carolina clinched the outright SEC regular season title. It is the program’s sixth in the last nine seasons, the most consistent title streak since Tennessee won seven in nine seasons from 1999-2007.
- Aliyah Boston made more history Thursday night, breaking LSU legend Sylvia Fowles’ SEC record for longest double-double streak. With 18 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes of playing time, Boston reached 20 double-doubles in a row, surpassing Fowles’ streak from the 2006-07 season. Only three other women in NCAA history have a double-double streak of 20 games or more – Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris, Robert Morris’ Artemis Spanou and DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow.
- Brea Beal got the team started on both ends of the court in the first quarter, scoring five points – including an early 3 – and pulled down four defensive rebounds over eight minutes.
- After committing two turnovers in the first three minutes of the game, the team tightened up and went the final 17 minutes and 13 seconds of the first half without a third. In that errorless stretch, the offense churned out 11 assisted baskets to build a commanding 42-21 halftime lead.
- The adept passing on offense led to incredible efficiency in the second quarter. The Gamecocks had a stretch in the second quarter with eight made baskets on nine shots and went into halftime shooting 56 percent in the second quarter and 53 percent overall in the first 20 minutes.
- It was the post position that benefitted most from the offense’s flow – of the team’s 11 first-half assists, seven came from the Gamecocks’ rotation of forwards. Victaria Saxton led the way with four assists over just 13 minutes played in the half, a total that tied her career best coming into Thursday night.
- For the game, South Carolina committed a season-low seven turnovers compared to 22 assists on 34 made baskets. The 22 helpers are the second-most by the team this season. The team’s 89 points scored are a season-high and are the most since Jan. 18, 2021.
- LeLe Grissett made the most of her time in the second quarter, scoring seven points on 3-of-3 shooting in just six minutes of action.
- Boston and Henderson traded off scoring duties to lead a big third quarter. The pair each scored nine points in the period to help the Gamecocks out-score the Aggies 25-10.
- Henderson finished the night shooting 8-of-11 from the floor for 17 points. The senior tied her career high for most made field goals in a game.
- The fourth quarter showed the tremendous depth of the South Carolina roster. None of the starting five logged a single second on the court, but the team still shot 61 percent from the field and scored 22 points. Destiny Littleton led the way with seven points.
- The Gamecock bench ended with 42 points in the game, matching a season high. It wasn’t just the point total that was impressive, but also the efficiency. The 10 players coming off the bench combined for a 15-of-25 performance shooting the ball, highlighted by Grissett (4-of-5) and Laeticia Amihere (3-of-3).
The regular season wraps up with one more rematch for the Gamecocks, who travel to Oxford to face Ole Miss on Sunday, Feb. 27. The 2 p.m. ET game will be carried on the SEC Network.