No. 5 South Carolina tops Washington State 68-53

No. 5 South Carolina tops Washington State 68-53
U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — Mikiah Herbert Harrigan scored 20 points and No. 5 South Carolina led from the start to beat Washington State 68-53 on Friday night at the Paradise Jam tournament.

Freshman Aliyah Boston, who was born on St. Thomas, added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Gamecocks (7-1), who recovered from losing to No. 17 Indiana by 14 points 24 hours earlier.

Chanelle Molina scored 17 points for the Cougars (4-2), who have now lost two straight to Top 25 opponents after opening the season with four consecutive wins.

Behind Boston, who had 11 first-half points, South Carolina opened the first quarter with a 13-2 run over the first 4½ minutes and went on to lead 25-9 at the end of the period. The Gamecocks went on to lead by 19 points twice in the second quarter, the last at 32-13 on Herbert Harrigan’s jumper with six minutes left.

However, Washington State turned things around later that period, closing out the half with a 13-2 run over the final two minutes, capped by Cherilyn Molina’s layup with three seconds remaining that cut South Carolina’s lead to 37-32 at the break.

The Gamecocks responded, opening the second half with a 13-3 run over the first four minutes of the third quarter, with Herbert Harrigan’s jumper with 6:09 left giving South Carolina a 50-35 lead. The Cougars would pull no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: Friday’s win was a nice bounceback for the Gamecocks, who struggled with fouls and their outside shooting in Thursday’s loss to No. 17 Indiana.

Washington State: The Cougars have taken on back-to-back Top 25 opponents for the first time since a three-game stretch against then-No. 6 Stanford, No. 5 Oregon and No. 9 Oregon State in January. They have a third ranked opponent coming Saturday.

UP NEXT

South Carolina wraps up play at Paradise Jam against No. 2 Baylor on Saturday.

Washington State takes on No. 17 Indiana in its tournament finale Saturday.