South Carolina women's basketball fans gazed up at the ceiling of Colonial Life Arena as the team's National Championship banner was unveiled before Friday's matchup against Alabama State.
The Gamecocks got as close as they could to the ceiling, crashing their way to 23 offensive rebounds with 48 total rebounds on their way to a 99-31 win over the Lady Hornets.
A’ja Wilson led the way with 10 rebounds and knocked down 16 points for her first double-double of the season. Alexis Jennings led the team in offensive rebounds with five, also pulling down nine total rebounds.
“It feel like it was very important for us,” Wilson said. “Offensive rebounds is something that you can’t really teach, so it was very important that we got those rebounds.”
The Gamecocks, who allowed 17 offensive rebounds, were not as happy with their effort on the defensive end of the glass.
“I don’t think we were very happy about the boxing out on the other end," Wilson said.
Head coach Dawn Staley added the team needs to be more “disciplined" and has “been wrestling with from day one.”
"We just have to get better," she said. "Make our player more aware of it, watch a little bit more film. They think they're blocking out but we see otherwise."
Something the Gamecocks wanted to improve with since the exhibition game against Coker was their defense.
“We moved the needle,” Staley said. “I think we got over zealous by fouling a lot more jump shooters than I would like, but the intensity was there, the focus was there, we got a long way to go.”
The Gamecocks forced 29 turnovers Friday compared to only 24 in their exhibition victory against Coker.
Looking to improve to 2-0, they will face No.13 Maryland on the road at 7 p.m. Monday.