Haley Salvador / The Daily Gamecock

South Carolina dominates Appalachian State 80-50

No. 22/24 South Carolina (5-4) came out of Colonial Life Arena with a win as the Gamecocks beat Appalachian State (5-4) by a score of 80-50 on Wednesday night.

The Gamecocks jumped out to a big 10-1 lead early off a couple of three-pointers and blocks from junior forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan within the first two minutes of the game.

South Carolina's defense was in check, holding the Mountaineers to just 33 percent shooting. The Gamecock offense shot 59 percent from the floor on Wednesday. 

South Carolina continued to shoot efficiently in the second quarter, making 66.7 percent of shots from behind the arc. 

South Carolina's offense was sparked by production from redshirt senior guard Bianca Cuevas-Moore, junior guard Te’a Cooper and senior guard Doniyah Cliney, who all shot three 3-pointers each in the first half.

“We worked on it in practice,” Cliney said. "Just moving the ball around and just keep finding the open person.” 

The South Carolina defense continued to hold their own, forcing Appalachian State into a six-minute scoring drought in the second quarter. The Mountaineers only made nine of their 33 shots in the first half. The Gamecocks accounted for seven blocks in the first half.

The Gamecocks toned down their three-point shooting in the second half, attempting just four in the third quarter. However, South Carolina would remain persistent overall by shooting 67 percent, while making 14 of 16 shots, in the middle of the third quarter. 

Head coach Dawn Staley elected to play freshman guard Destanni Henderson, who scored four points and had two assists on the night.

Despite having less experienced players on the court, South Carolina's defense continued its dominance, as Appalachian State was unable to score in the last seven minutes of the game.

South Carolina made 54.2 percent of its shots, which Staley accredited to ball movement.

“It’s more like what we practice,” Staley said. “Those extra passes, those skip passes, those moving the defense that have a more than one or two passes really breaks a defense down.” 

The Gamecocks will travel to Durham, North Carolina, to take on the Duke Blue Devils on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. 

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