Aliyah Boston takes casual approach to double-double record

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston (4) is announced during team introductions before the Gamecocks take on Texas A&M in the Colonial Life Arena on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022.

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston (4) is announced during team introductions before the Gamecocks take on Texas A&M in the Colonial Life Arena on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022.

Aliyah Boston broke the record for most rebounds in SEC play in South Carolina’s 58-51 win against Mississippi State on Jan. 8.

The accomplishment etched the four-year veteran’s name in the South Carolina record books for something that’s become one of her specialties as a Gamecock.

She was asked about it after the game, and her response was a lot less flashy than the numbers she has put up during her USC career.

“Oh, cool,” Boston said. “It feels pretty nice, but I just gotta continue to do what I’m doing.”

The Gamecocks star is just one game away from an even more notable milestone. She’s set to break Sheila Foster’s record for the most double-doubles in program history, a record that has stood for more than 40 years. Boston tied Foster’s record when she notched double-double No. 72 in Thursday’s win against Vanderbilt. She has a chance to be the outright leader in Sunday’s game against Arkansas.

While some may see the record as a significant accomplishment, Boston’s not keeping tabs on it day by day. She first learned that she was inching closer after the team’s Dec. 3 win against Memphis. Boston was told the record was within reach after recording 14 points and 10 rebounds that afternoon, but she didn’t want to know the exact number just yet.

“Sometimes I open Twitter and someone tweets it out,” Boston said after the Memphis game. “I’m like ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ But other than that, I don’t really pay attention to it.”

She did notice after Thursday’s game at Vanderbilt that she tied Foster’s record with a 16-point, 10-rebound outing on 8-8 shooting from the field in the Gamecocks’ win.

Boston took to Twitter to celebrate the accomplishment.

“Only God,” she wrote. “So blessed.”

Boston has recorded 12 double-doubles this season, and one in each of her past four games.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley supports Boston’s accomplishments, but she’s ready for the current pursuit to be finished.

“Might as well knock it out,” Staley said Friday. “Don’t let it linger.”

The double-double record isn’t the only one Boston has a shot at breaking this season.

Boston is 118 rebounds shy of Foster’s all-time rebounding record — which she could tie if she averaged 11.8 rebounds per game in the final 10 regular-season games. She is nine defensive rebounds away from the most in conference games (Alaina Coates) and 11 blocks away from the most in SEC play (A’ja Wilson).

She already has the record for most career offensive rebounds with 456, and she broke the record for the most defensive rebounds with the nine she snagged on Thursday. The statistical distinction between offensive and defensive boards did not exist in the NCAA when Foster was playing from 1978-82.

Boston’s 36 double-doubles in SEC games are the most in South Carolina history.

Staley has spoken about Boston’s value to the team numerous times this season, citing high work ethic and IQ as reasons for the forward’s success. Staley also has noted the box score doesn’t ultimately determine Boston’s value or productivity. In Boston’s last four games, though, the double-doubles have come with the full package.

But for Boston’s sake, her coach is ready to see a new name etched in the double-double category of South Carolina’s record book.

“If she’s close and we’re out to a big lead, we’re gonna keep her in until she gets it,” Staley said. “Well, maybe a minute or two.”

Jeremiah Holloway covers South Carolina women’s basketball and football for The State. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, he is from Greensboro, N.C. and an avid basketball fan. Holloway joined The State in August 2022.

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