No. 1 South Carolina’s home dominance continues.
The Gamecocks (11-0) dominated Charleston Southern on Sunday, winning 87-23. USC hasn’t lost a home game since December 2020.
South Carolina’s defense dominated one again, but unlike its game against South Dakota State, it wasn’t a struggle to score.
USC held the Buccaneers (2-9) to just six points in the first half, the fewest it’s given up in a half this season.
South Carolina got out to a 11-0 lead before Charleston Southern got on the board.
The Gamecocks found offense from everywhere on Sunday, and early on in the game. The team made four 3-pointers in the first half and made good on seven of their 10 free throw attempts. It also scored 14 points in the paint during that stretch.
Both team’s second half was much of the same. The stifling defense of South Carolina severely limited the Buccaneers, and USC managed to score with relative ease.
In the fourth quarter, freshman forward Ashlyn Watkins logged the second dunk of her career. She leaked out on a fast break and went up for the slam. The ball rattled around for a little bit, but the play was recorded as a made dunk.
Zia Cooke finished with a game-high 16 points. Aliyah Boston recorded the 67th double-double of her career with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Gamecocks will stay in Columbia for their next game, as they play Coastal Carolina on Wednesday at 12 p.m.
CHLOE KITTS DEBUTS FOR GAMECOCKS
South Carolina’s newest addition made her presence felt on Sunday.
Chloe Kitts — who graduated from high school this month — made her USC debut against the Buccaneers. Staley said last week that she’s eligible to play and that she plans to use Kitts this season.
Kitts finished with 10 points, seven assists, two steals and two assists in 23 minutes.
She scored her first point on a first-quarter free throw. She recorded her first field goal on a fast break layup early in the second quarter, on a pass from Talaysia Cooper.
Kitts — from Oviedo, Florida — was the No. 17 player on the ESPN Top 100. She just got to campus on Tuesday.
ALIYAH BOSTON GETS HONDA CUP TROPHY
Before the game, Boston was presented with her Honda Cup award — given to the best women’s sports athlete in the country.
Boston won it for her efforts in the 2021-22 season. She took home nearly every basketball award imaginable that season, winning the Naismith Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Final Four Most Outstanding Player and a slew of SEC awards as well. Boston was also an All-American First Team performer last year.
Boston is the first person in school history to win the award. A’ja Wilson was the basketball nominee in 2017-18.
She also inched closer to the program’s career double-double record, as she put up 10 points and 13 rebounds to snag her 67th.
KIERRA FLETCHER HEADS TO LOCKER ROOM
Graduate guard Kierra Fletcher exited the game in the third quarter after an apparent injury. She was limping a bit while handling the ball and heading to the locker room.
Fletcher did not re-enter the game, but returned to the bench in the third quarter. She was wearing a brace of some kind around her left thigh.
An injury was not immediately known after the game.
NEXT FOUR SOUTH CAROLINA WBB GAMES
Dec 21: home vs. Coastal Carolina, noon (SEC Network Plus)
Dec. 29: home vs. Texas A&M, 7 p.m. (SEC Network or ESPN2)
Jan. 2: at Georgia, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Jan. 5: home vs. Auburn, 7 p.m. (SEC Network Plus)