In the team’s final home game of the season, the South Carolina women’s basketball team captured its 11th victory over a top-25 team with a 67-53 win over No. 12 Tennessee thanks to an all-around dominant performance.
In front of a sellout crowd, on senior night, South Carolina officially clinched at least a share of the SEC regular-season championship.
“This is one of the championships that we wanted wanted throughout this journey,” Staley said. “And hope we get three more.”
Under the national spotlight, the Gamecocks controlled every aspect of the game from the start, playing with physicality and speed. Tennessee managed to keep it close in the first half, but after the third quarter, the visitors were down almost 20.
The rebound battle was one-sided the entire game. South Carolina secured 21 more total rebounds than the Volunteers and finished with 31 offensive rebounds.
“I think we were on high alert, and I thought everybody pick and chose times in which they needed to crash the boards,” Staley said. “The only bad part of it is, we only had 14 points out of it, so we have to be a little more productive when it comes to that.”
South Carolina’s defense forced 14 Tennesse turnovers. This allowed the Gamecocks to push the ball upcourt and score 16 fastbreak points. Tennesse was held scoreless in the fast break, creating another disadvantage the team had to try and overcome.
It was not a good shooting night for either team. South Carolina shot 32 percent for the game and was held to 15 percent shooting on 20 attempts in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for the No. 1 ranked team, Tennessee also shot 32 percent for the game.
Aliyah Boston continued to shine in her historic year. She tied Sylvia Fowles' SEC record for the most consecutive double-doubles, 19, during the game. She finished with the game-high in points and rebounds with 16 and 12, respectively.
“Sylvia Fowles is a dominate post player, and so for me to be right there with her is just, it's just a great feeling because I’ve watched her play and see what she does and how strong she is, just want to do that,” Boston said.
The Gamecocks captured its 25th win of the season with the victory. South Carolina is now 13-1 in the SEC with two games remaining before the conference tournament tips off.
The team will look to clinch sole possession of the regular season championship Thursday when it travels to play Texas A&M at 8:30 p.m. on the SEC network.