Boston, South Carolina crush visiting Wildcats in another Top-20 battle

Kentucky guard Treasure Hunt (12) shoots the ball against South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston...
Kentucky guard Treasure Hunt (12) shoots the ball against South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)(Sean Rayford | AP)
Published: Jan. 9, 2022 at 2:43 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Aliyah Boston ties a program record as the Gamecocks crush 20th-ranked Kentucky. Sunday at home, Boston guided top-ranked South Carolina (15-1) past the Wildcats, 74-54.

She collected her ninth consecutive double-double, tying a program record set in 1975 & matched in 1978. The stellar junior forward dropped 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the win over the Wildcats.

Boston set the tone in the first quarter. She connected on five-of-six shots to pace Carolina with 10 points. Boston’s final bucket of the quarter was set up by the birthday girl, Zia Cooke. Cooke drove to the top of the charity stripe and dumped it low to Boston. No Wildcat could contest the shot to tie the game at 18.

The rest of the way was all Carolina. Six different Gamecocks found the score sheet in the second quarter. Victaria Saxton was fantastic around the rim. She grabbed five rebounds in the frame, including two on the offensive glass. Saxton scored six of her 12 points in the second quarter by winning the battles inside.

Freshman Bree Hall provided a spark off the bench. Her three-point field goal at the 5:33 mark put the Gamecocks up 27-20. Fellow Freshman Saniya Rivers found her way to the glass with ease with under a minute to spare to give the Gamecocks their largest lead at the time, 41-25.

Back to the birthday girl, Cooke, she commanded the court in the third. She took good shots and stayed in attack mode, dropping eleven of her game-high 19 points in the quarter.

Her final two in the third was an impressive drive over the Wildcat wall near the rim. Cooke started near the center court on the left side. With 14 seconds to go, Cooke flipped the switch and put the ball on the deck to drive. She scooped the ball over two Wildcats around the rim to lift the Gamecocks to a 64-41 lead heading into the fourth.

By the numbers, Carolina perhaps played one of its most complete games of the season. The Gamecocks turned it over a mere seven times the entire game. They shot 45% from the field and 75% from the free-throw line.

Dawn Staley earned her 155th SEC victory, surpassing Gary Blair among active league coaches. She’s reached this milestone in five fewer seasons.

The win also delivers the Gamecocks their 14th win against the Wildcats in their last 15 meetings.

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