South Carolina defeated Buffalo 88-60 in the opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament Saturday night in Paradise Island.
The high-power offense was a major key to South Carolina's success. Junior forward Aliyah Boston lead the offense with a season-high 23 points. She also had 7 rebounds and 2 assists.
“It definitely felt good to be able to just knock some shots down,” Boston said. “My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball, especially in the high post.”
Alongside Boston, senior guard Destanni Henderson gave the Buffalo defense problems all night. She was dangerous beyond the arc, totaling 12 points from the 3-point line alone.
“I’m very comfortable when my feet are set,” Henderson said. “I know when my feet are set and the ball is passed to me right I’m going to shoot it, and nine times out of 10 it’s probably going to go in."
Due to the freshman guard Raven Johnson going down in the South Dakota game with a knee injury, junior forward Laeticia Amihere had to adjust to playing multiple roles. Her experience is what makes her a reliable player for Staley.
“We feel good about LA on both sides of the ball,” head coach Dawn Staley said. “She uses her length in ways in which is a lot different than our smaller guards. We played with that last week before the Clemson game and we felt good enough to put her out there and she was impactful.”
With this victory, South Carolina improves its record to 4-0 on the season. Staley and the team look to use this tournament in Paradise Island as a way to prepare and fine-tune its play.
“Every year we play the best of the best teams from the jump,” Henderson said. “Playing the top teams early on, it motivates us and it just puts us in a position to see where we are at and the things we need to work on.”
Next up, the Gamecocks will take on the No. 9 Oregon Ducks in a top-10 matchup on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m. EST.
“We haven’t shied away from playing top teams in the country,” Staley said. “We look forward to every challenge that we are faced with and we got a big one tomorrow afternoon.”