The No. 1 South Carolina women’s basketball team dominated No. 3 LSU on Sunday 88-64, leading the game from wire to wire.
After tipoff, the closest the Tigers got to the Gamecocks was 3 points midway through the second quarter.
South Carolina started strong, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the game's first two minutes.
Both teams got into foul trouble, however, with LSU committing 11 fouls in the first half while the Gamecocks were whistled for eight.
Senior guard Zia Cooke led South Carolina in scoring during the first half with 11 points while senior forward Aliyah Boston had 10 points, but LSU kept the game reasonably close by taking advantage of South Carolina's mistakes, earning 5 points off of six Gamecock turnovers.
The second half started with South Carolina scoring immediately off a layup by Boston, but LSU then quickly went on a 6-0 run over the next minute and a half. As the quarter went on, however, the Gamecocks still outscored LSU 22-16 in the period.
South Carolina controlled the paint in both halves, dominating with 43 rebounds. Junior center Kamilla Cardoso led the Gamecocks statistically on both ends, earning her sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
“Kamilla is really long, and she uses her length to her advantage,” Boston said. “She’s just a dominant player. She goes to score. She rebounds the ball really well … I think every time she gets on the floor she just dominates.”
In addition to Cardoso's double-double, four other Gamecocks finished with double digit point totals. Cooke finished with 17 points while Boston scored 14, senior guard Brea Beal had 11 points and redshirt freshman guard Raven Johnson added 10 off the bench.
"Over the course of 40 minutes, I just thought our depth paid big dividends in this game," head coach Dawn Staley said.
Boston and Cardoso also excelled on the defensive end with three blocks each, which energized the arena. In the backcourt, Beal led the team in assists with a total of four while Johnson assisted on three baskets.
“Brea's come a long way,” Staley said. “Her assists to Kamilla were great. I mean, we needed that. We put her in a position where either she could pass it up or drive it down somebody’s throat. And she chose at different times to pass and different times to drive it.”
LSU finished the game with 21 fouls compared to South Carolina’s 18, and three Tigers committed at least four fouls, including senior forward LaDazhia Williams, who fouled out just over three minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Gamecocks improve to 25-0 overall and 12-0 in the SEC. The team will host Florida on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.