The top-ranked South Carolina women’s basketball team notched an impressive season-opening victory with a 66-57 decision over fifth-ranked NC State in Raleigh, Tuesday. Zia Cooke led the way with 17 points. Destanni Henderson joined Cooke in double figures with 14 points. Brea Beal’s layup 17 seconds into the game gave South Carolina a lead they would never relinquish. But the biggest factor proved to be the Gamecocks defense. NC State was limited to 41% shooting, thanks in large part to Aliyah Boston’s five blocks, and earned just six free throw attempts.
The Gamecocks (1-0) are back on the road Friday, paying a visit to South Dakota. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.