The No. 1 South Carolina women's basketball team defeated Arkansas 92-46 Sunday afternoon in a record-breaking game for the Gamecocks.
The first of two record-breaking moments came in the third quarter when Boston recorded her 10th rebound of the game. With that rebound, Boston secured the 73rd double-double of her collegiate career — the most of any player in Gamecock women's basketball history. The record was previously held by South Carolina Athletics Hall of Famer Sheila Foster, who was in attendance at the game.
"Coming in, I didn't really know that this was a record, and so to be able to do it, it's just very exciting because, I mean, wow, who would've thought?" said Boston.
The game was not only historic for Boston. After tallying 74 total rebounds and allowing only 17 to the Razorbacks, the Gamecocks set a record for the largest rebound margin (+57) in program history, as well as the most total rebounds by South Carolina in an SEC game.
Towards the beginning of the game, Arkansas was able to keep the score close, matching the Gamecocks' offense well into the first quarter. However, as soon as both teams went to their benches, the Razorbacks became unable to keep pace. South Carolina used its size advantage to shut down 3-point attempts and minimize Arkansas' shooting percentage.
"I am proud that we got off to a good start," Razorbacks head coach Mike Neighbors said. "We did hit a wall, that became obvious ... they just frustrate you. You can do a lot of right things, and then they make you wrong at the end of it."
Adopting a new defensive strategy allowed the Gamecocks to pull away in the second quarter, as it held Arkansas to a 20% shooting percentage and went on a 15-0 scoring run during the period.
Heading into halftime, senior guard Zia Cooke was already having one of her best scoring displays of the season. She went into the break with 19 points on 6-8 shooting in the first half and finished the game with 24 points despite not playing in the fourth quarter.
Senior forward Aliyah Boston said Cooke's drive and leadership contributed heavily to the team's success.
"(Zia) has been just excelling. I mean, she is putting in all the work after practice, she is getting shots up ... and it's just continuing to pay off," Boston said. "I think every game she steps on that floor with that mindset of just dominating, and I think she's just killing it every single time."
South Carolina cruised through the fourth quarter, and secured its fourth straight win with a margin of victory greater than 30 points. The Gamecocks also showcased depth, a staple of the team's success this season, with 38 bench points.
"We always talk to our players about creating habits," head coach Dawn Staley said. "We always wanna put our best foot forward no matter who we have in the game, and I think some of the players that don't play a whole lot know that we are watching."
South Carolina (20-0, 8-0 SEC) will continue its historic season when it faces Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 29. The game will tip off at 1 p.m. and air on ESPN2.