No. 2 South Carolina opens with 70-61 victory

No. 2 South Carolina opens with 70-61 victory

By PETE IACOBELLI

AP Sports Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Alaina Coates had 18 points and 13 rebounds, defending Southeastern Conference player of the year Tiffany Mitchell scored 18 points and No. 2 South Carolina used a late 12-0 run to get past Southern Cal 70-61 on Saturday night.

The Gamecocks (1-0) trailed 53-52 on McKenzie Calvert's breakaway basket with 6:55 left. That's when South Carolina responded with 12 straight points over the next three minutes to take control.

Coates, the SEC's freshman of the year and co-sixth player of the year last season, had her 11th career double-double.

Highly touted newcomer A'ja Wilson, last year's No. 1 college prospect, struggled in her debut with four points on 2-of-7 shooting.

Calvert and Kaneisha Horn had 11 points to lead Southern Cal.

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