USC went 14-18 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to protect their lead, and the top-ranked Gamecocks defeated 15th ranked UCLA 73-64 Tuesday night at the Colonial Life Arena. Both teams were unbeaten going into the game. The Gamecocks are now 7-0 and the Bruins are 7-1.
UCLA set the pace for much of the game. The Bruins led most of the first half and by four at the break. The lead grew to seven in the third quarter, but the Gamecocks tied the game in the fourth quarter at 52-52.
A jumper by Zia Cooke with 5:38 to play put USC up for good at 54-52. From that point, it was pretty much a steady stream to the foul line for the Gamecocks who scored 13 points from the stripe the rest of the way.
Four of those free throws came consecutively as Laeticia Amihere made a pair after being fouled and Aliyah Boston followed with two technical free throws. That doubled the lead from four to eight points with 1:11 to play, and they were home free from there.
Boston led the Gamecocks with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kamilla Cardoso was a big contributor off the bench with 16 points and nine rebounds. USC shot 40% from the floor but was only 1-14 from three. The Gamecocks hit 18 of 27 foul shots, outscored the Bruins in the paint 42-28 and blocked 15 shots.
USC is back in action at home Sunday afternoon against Memphis.