No. 1 South Carolina eases past No. 17 Maryland 81-56
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Aliyah Boston had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Zia Cooke added 18 points to lift No. 1 South Carolina to an 81-56 victory over No. 17 Maryland on Friday night.
Shortly after the Indiana Fever won the WNBA draft lottery — with Boston expected to be the No. 1 pick — the South Carolina star led her team to a fairly routine victory in its first real test of the season. The defending champions held off a gritty Maryland team that was playing without its own potential lottery pick. Diamond Miller was out with a right knee injury.
Abby Meyers scored 21 points to lead Maryland (1-1), but aside from her ability to score from the midrange and beyond the arc, the undersized Terrapins had a tough time offensively. Perhaps no stat summed up this game better than the Gamecocks’ 11-0 advantage in blocked shots.
South Carolina was playing its first of four consecutive road games, and this win makes it almost certain that a Nov. 20 clash at Stanford will be a 1 vs. 2 matchup.
Maryland packed its defense into the paint to deal with the 6-foot-4 Boston, and the Terps were down just six at halftime, 32-26. The margin was still in single digits in the third before South Carolina (2-0) went on an 11-1 run to lead 56-39.
Kamilla Cardoso, the Gamecocks’ 6-7 reserve, scored a pair of baskets during that run, sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Cooke. Cardoso finished with 13 points.
- Zia Cooke moved into the No. 10 spot in the Gamecock record book for made threes, recording four on the night to get to 139 in her career.
- Aliyah Boston recorded her 62nd career and second-consecutive double-double this season (16 pts, 13 reb).
- Boston tied Tiffany Mitchell for the Gamecock record with her 103rd consecutive starts.
- Cooke tallied a season-high 18 points, followed by three other Gamecocks notching 10+ points or more
- Boston, 16
- Kamilla Cardoso, 13
- Laeticia Amihere, 10
- Boston and Cardoso combined for 13-of-15 field goals in the paint.