South Carolina held off a late charge from North Carolina, leaning on All-American Aliyah Boston down the stretch, to claim a (32-2) victory in Greensboro, NC, Friday. Boston did her best work in crunch time, scoring all 13 of her team’s fourth-quarter points, helping the Gamecocks extinguish the Tar Heels late rally. The All-American finished with a bruising 28 points and 22 rebounds (12 offensive), nearly locking up her 27th consecutive double-double by halftime.
Despite Boston’s monumental stat line, USC’s scoring woes resurfaced, allowing UNC to make runs throughout the game. South Carolina shot 33% on the night, enduring scoring droughts both early and late in the contest. The Tar Heels took advantage, putting together a quick 9-1 run early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to five with 6:33 to play. But there was no stopping Boston as she single-handedly outscored UNC 9-7 the rest of the way. Boston did much of her damage at the foul line, sinking 12 of her 13 free throws.
Zia Cooke scored 15 points in support of Boston, knocking down three of her seven 3-point attempts. Overall, the Gamecocks had a good night from distance, hitting seven of 19 from beyond the arc. Destanni Henderson joined Cooke and Boston in double figures with 13 points. Due in large part to Boston’s dominance, USC outrebounded UNC 48-33 and led 27-6 in second chance points.
South Carolina awaits the winner of (10) Creighton-(3) Iowa State for Sunday’s Regional Final.