COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Gamecock sophomore forward Aliyah Boston proves daily to be a force on both ends of the court.
On Monday, Boston was recognized for her efforts, being tabbed a finalist for the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year. She’s the only player to be selected a finalist for both that award and the Naismith Trophy, given to the national player of the year.
“I do believe she should sweep both of them,” said Gamecock women’s head basketball coach Dawn Staley.
A little politicking never hurts. Boston’s play alone speaks volumes.
“You have to watch her to really understand,” said Staley. “Put an ISO cam on her, and you’ll see what she brings to the table.”
Look no further than last night against Mercer in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. With the game locked at 27 in the second quarter, Boston hit a tough bucket inside. She huddled the troops before she went to the free-throw line. Her messaged ignited a 13-3 Gamecock run to end the half.
“Aliyah doesn’t like losing,” Staley added. “She can honestly walk away from a game saying I did everything. It doesn’t mean she played perfectly. The energy that she puts into a game and the preparation, and the duration of the 40 minutes that’s being played is unmatched by any player on the collegiate level. Take that to the bank on both sides of the basketball.”
If you watched Sunday night, Boston displayed dominance in South Carolina’s 26-point victory over Mercer. She posted a double-double in the first half, finishing with 20 points and 18 rebounds for the game.
It marked Boston’s 16th double-double on the season, including five in the last five games played. She ranks sixth nationally in that category. Boston also ranks 16th in the country in blocks per game and 11th in rebounds per game.
South Carolina next plays Oregon State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday night.