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No. 1 South Carolina wins share of SEC regular-season title with 72-44 victory over Alabama
Women's Basketball  . 

No. 1 South Carolina wins share of SEC regular-season title with 72-44 victory over Alabama

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) —Ashlyn Watkins had 14 points and 10 rebounds and No. 1 South Carolina clinched a share of its third straight Southeastern Conference regular-season championship with a 72-44 win over Alabama on Thursday night, coach Dawn Staley’s 600th career win.

The Gamecocks (26-0, 13-0 SEC) cruised without top scorer and rebounder Kamilla Cardoso, who felt sore after beating Georgia this past Sunday and got the game off.

But not having the 6-foot-7 dominator did not slow down South Carolina as it extended its SEC mark with its 44th regular-season league win and its 56th straight at home.

Neither team started strongly, combining to make just two of their first 19 attempts over the first five minutes.

Soon enough, though, the Gamecocks’ offensive rhythm kicked in and they pulled away with a 22-5 run in the second quarter.


South Carolina held Alabama (20-8, 7-6) to just five field goals and 15.6% shooting in the first 20 minutes. Crimson Tide coach Kristy Curry tried to regroup her players with a couple of time-outs, but nothing worked as South Carolina won its 22nd straight in the series — all since Staley took over in the 2008-09 season.

Jessica Timmons led Alabama with 20 points as its leading scorer, Sarah Ashlee Barker, was held to four points, 13 below her average.

Bree Hall had 13 points for South Carolina while Tessa Johnson added 12. It was Watkins’ seventh double-double this season.



  • With the 72-44 win over Alabama, the Gamecocks secured their eighth SEC regular season title in the last 11 years and third-straight title, with head coach Dawn Staley also marking her 600th career win.
  • With just 11 points at halftime, the Crimson Tide posted the lowest-scoring half by a Gamecock SEC opponent this season. Alabama’s 22.1 percent field goal shooting for the game was also the lowest the Gamecocks have allowed an SEC opponent this season.
  • After a tough-shooting first quarter, shooting just 27.8 percent, the Gamecocks bounced back in the second quarter with 9-of-17 accuracy (52.9%) to double their first quarter scoring from 11 to 22 to take a 33-11 lead into the half.
  • Ashlyn Watkins led the team in scoring for the first time this season, knocking down eight of her 14 points in the second quarter en route to her seventh double-double after finishing with 10 boards.
  • Bree Hall had her 13th game scoring in double-figures this season with 13 points, hitting a three in the third quarter to cap a 9-1 run by the Gamecocks.
  • Tessa Johnson finished with 10 points for the fifth time double-digit scoring game of the season, going 2-for-2 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line.
  • Sania Feagin tied her career high of seven boards, in addition to her 10 points with half coming in the third quarter alone in just three minutes on the court.