COLONIAL LIFE ARENA: The top-ranked Gamecocks had no trouble knocking off the rust and dispatching with Liberty 88-39 in Columbia, Sunday. South Carolina hadn’t played since Dec. 3rd, but you wouldn’t know it based on the early minutes of Sunday’s game. USC hit seven of its first 12 shots on the way to a 23-13 lead after the first quarter. Aliyah Boston helped her team get off to a fast start, scoring six of her 13 points in the first five minutes of the game.
Zia Cooke took it from there as she scored a season-high 20 points on just a dozen field goal attempts. Cooke scored 18 of the Gamecocks 44 points in the second and third quarters. USC has made a habit of dominating the third quarter and Sunday’s matchup was no different. Dawn Staley’s group turned up the defensive intensity coming out of halftime, holding Liberty to one made field goal (7%) in the third quarter.
Sania Feagin (14 points) joined Boston and Cooke in double figures. Feagin scored 12 of her 14 in the fourth quarter as Boston, Cooke, Brea Beal and Victaria Saxton watched from the sideline.
Having closed out its four-game homestand, South Carolina (9-0) is back on the road later this week. The Gamecocks will pay a visit to South Dakota State, Thursday. Tipoff from Sioux Falls, SD, is scheduled for 7 p.m.