Cooke scores 23 in Gamecocks’ dominant win over Temple

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks, under the direction of coach Dawn Staley play The...
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks, under the direction of coach Dawn Staley play The Temple Owls on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 in the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC.(Tracy Glantz |
Updated: Dec. 17, 2020 at 9:26 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Zia Cooke was cooking Thursday night. Pun intended.

South Carolina’s sophomore guard finished the contest with 23 points as the No. 5 Gamecocks rolled past Temple 103-41.

Temple stayed closed to the Gamecocks early on. The Owls even led 10-9 with 5:52 left in the first quarter. However, Carolina would erase that early lead with Cooke’s help. She had 12 points in the period. That included the final five points of Carolina’s 7-0 run to end the quarter and take a 21-14 lead.

The Gamecocks (5-1) continued to pull away in the second quarter with the help of Laeticia Amihere and Aliyah Boston. They combined for 10 of the team’s 23 points while holding Temple to just 11 to enter halftime with a 44-25 lead.

Carolina opened the third on a 12-3 run that made it a 56-28 game with 7:38 to go in the quarter. The Gamecocks continued to dominate a shorthanded Temple squad who suited up just eight players on Thursday. Cooke again led the charge scoring 11 in the quarter. Carolina scored 32 points in the period to head into the final quarter with a 76-37 cushion.

Cooke added four assists and three rebounds to her 23 points.

Carolina held Temple to just 23% shooting from the floor while forcing 18 turnovers. The Gamecocks had just six turnovers on Thursday night and shot 53% from the field.

Boston finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks. Amihere had 11 points and three rebounds.

Carolina returns to action on New Year’s Eve at home against Ole Miss to open SEC play.

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