The No. 1 ranked Gamecocks women's basketball team defeated Clemson 85-31 on the road in a commanding defensive performance.
Thursday's win brings the Gamecocks ahead in the all time series against the Tigers, 34-33. South Carolina now has 12 consecutive wins, all of which were by double digits.
“It means that we’ve got a great run,” head coach Dawn Staley said. “14, 15 years ago when we got here, I do remember vividly the two that we lost. That’s etched in my memory.”
South Carolina shut down Clemson’s offense, holding the Tigers to 24% from the field and 16% from three point range. In addition, the Gamecocks came away with 11 steals and nine blocks.
The Gamecocks nearly doubled the Tigers in rebounds, totaling 41 boards compared to Clemson’s 23. South Carolina brought down 14 of those on offense, racking up 17 second chance points.
Despite both teams being fairly even in turnovers, Clemson struggled to convert takeaways into points, only scoring nine points off of 20 turnovers. In contrast, South Carolina racked up 35 points off of 23 takeaways.
Freshman forward Ashlyn Watkins highlighted her 14-point night by throwing down the first dunk in South Carolina women’s basketball history. She also brought down five rebounds in her 16 minutes off the bench.
“That surprised me,” Staley said. “I’ve seen her do it a million times, but never on this level.”
Senior guard Zia Cooke finished as the Gamecock’s leading scorer with 15 points, nine of which came from three point shots. As a team, South Carolina showed great improvements beyond the arc, shooting 58% from three point range compared to 29% in the win against No. 17 Maryland last week.
Another large scoring force for South Carolina was its bench, which put up 46 of the teams 85 points. This was a stark contrast from Clemson as the Tigers only scored 6 total points from the bench.
This game was the second of a four-game road trip for the Gamecocks who will now travel to California for games against No. 2 Stanford and Cal Poly. Sunday’s matchup against the Cardinal is poised to be a tight and emotional matchup. In the 2021 Final Four, Stanford defeated South Carolina 66-65 in a tight game. In the 2021-2022 regular season, the Gamecocks got revenge, defeating Stanford 65-61.
“It should be a really good game,” Staley said. “I hope it’s everything that it’s built to be.”
The Gamecocks will travel to take on No. 2 Stanford in Palo Alto, California on Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. The game can be watched on ABC.