South Carolina defeats Elon 77-44|
Nov. 9, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina women's basketball defeated Elon 77-44 at Colonial Life Arena Friday night in the season opener for both teams. Seniors Ashley Bruner and Ieasia Walker led the way offensively, posting 28 of South Carolina's 77 points, but points came from all sources as the Gamecocks turned 22 Elon turnovers into 34 points. Sophomore Elem Ibiam and Asia Dozier each pulled down double-figure rebounds, marking the first time a pair of Gamecocks hit the mark since March 4, 2010 against Ole Miss.
The Gamecocks applied pressure early against the Phoenix, opening a 6-0 lead in the first 90 seconds of the game. The lead expanded quickly to 21-5 before Elon found its footing. Bruner posted nine points in the first half to lead the team, while sophomore forward Aleighsa Welch and Walker closely followed Bruner with seven each.
After building a 10-2 lead, Walker then sparked an 11-point run for South Carolina while the team defense forced a series of Elon turnovers. Bruner and Walker combined for nine of the eleven points in the surge, including Walker's pull-up jumper from the left elbow to make it a 21-5 advantage with 12:43 left in the half. As the Gamecocks went to the bench, Elon made a surge, pulling within seven points with 5:27 left in the half, capitalizing on free throws and a pair of steals the generated easier baskets.
Freshman Tiffany Davis came on strong in the closing minutes of the half, applying solid defensive pressure at the point while scoring four straight points to push the Gamecocks back up 36-23. She closed the half with another transition layup to send South Carolina into the locker room with a 41-25 lead at the break. The Gamecocks continued to stretch their lead in the second half as the Phoenix could not answer the defensive pressure.
Ibiam's 11 rebounds were a career high, as were her six on the offensive glass, while Dozier reeled in 10. Welch narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine boards on the night. Three other Gamecocks finished with six or more points in the balanced offensive effort.
South Carolina heads on the road next, traveling Louisiana Tech for an 8 p.m. (ET) tipoff on Mon., Nov. 12. The Gamecocks then host a pair of games next weekend, beginning with Savannah State on Thu., Nov. 15, and closing with archrival Clemson on Sun., Nov. 18.