No. 22/21 Gamecocks Dominate Charleston Southern 99-29 in Season Opener
Nov. 8, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 22/21 South Carolina (1-0) defeated Charleston Southern (0-1) 99-29 on Friday night with the program's largest margin of victory at Colonial Life Arena. In her first collegiate action, freshman center Alaina Coates was one of four Gamecocks to reach double figures, pouring in 20 points.
Junior center Elem Ibiam was 7-for-7 from the floor, scoring 17 points. She rounded out her line with a career-high tying five blocks as well as six rebounds and two steals. Junior forward Aleighsa Welch posted 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell swiped five steals to tie a career high and scored 12 points. Sophomore guard Khadijah Sessions netted 10 points in the balanced effort.
South Carolina shot 60.9 percent from the field in the game and out-rebounded the Buccaneers 46-25. The Gamecocks took advantage of aggressive feeds into the post, which allowed them to outscore the Buccaneers 70-6 in the paint.
The Gamecocks manufactured 40 points off of 25 turnovers; South Carolina had just 10 turnovers on the night.
South Carolina jumped on Charleston Southern early, racing out to a 15-0 lead. Ibiam's imposing presence down low made it difficult for the Buccaneers to find offense. Sessions and Welch sparked the Gamecocks early as the duo combined for eight points in the run.
Charleston Southern responded with three foul shots for its first points of the night, nearly six and a half minutes into the contest. The Gamecocks did not allow a basket until the 10:27 mark when Buccaneers senior guard Erin Bratcher scored on a jumper to end the drought.
After a Charleston Southern basket made the score 22-8 with just under 10 minutes remaining before the break, South Carolina took control on a 30-5 run. Coates punctuated the streak, scoring the last nine points of the first half.
South Carolina held a 52-13 lead over Charleston Southern after 20 minutes of play.
The Gamecocks' pressure defense forced 10 turnovers in the first half, and the offense took advantage, scoring 18 points off of the takeaways.
To start the second half, South Carolina continued its run, going on a 21-4 surge to extend its lead to 73-17. Ibiam and Welch keyed the run with nine and four points, respectively.
In the final two minutes, South Carolina allowed just two points and cruised to the 99-29 victory.
Redshirt freshman guard Alyssa Mann led Charleston Southern with nine points, with Bratcher and sophomore center Monique Maximilien pulling down three rebounds a piece off the glass.
The Gamecocks return to Colonial Life Arena for a 2 p.m., game against Louisiana Tech on Sun., Nov. 10. Stay connected to Gamecocksonline.com for more details.