Cooper scores 17 in USC women’s opener

Gamecocks' Jackson plays against her mother.

Cooper scores 17 in USC women’s opener
USC Gamecocks guard Te'a Cooper dribbles the basketball up the floor. (Source: USC Athletics)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Te'a Cooper scored 17 points in her South Carolina debut to lead the 10th-ranked Gamecocks to a 94-38 victory over Alabama State on Sunday in their season opener.

Cooper, who sat out last season after transferring from Tennessee, had 15 points by halftime as the Gamecocks built a 60-20 cushion.

South Carolina's Bianca Jackson and top freshman recruit Destanni Henderson each scored 13 points against the Hornets (0-2). The Southwestern Athletic Conference team is coached by Jackson's mother Freda Freeman-Jackson.

Jackson hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to account for most of South Carolina's 16 points.

Mikiah Herbert Harrigan also had 11 points and six rebounds for the Gamecocks, who had 22 steals. They forced 33 turnovers.

Cooper made all eight free throw attempts and had three assists and three steals. She had sat out the past two seasons because of the transfer and a knee injury while at Tennessee.

The Hornets were led by Jayla Crawford's 10 points.

The Gamecocks are replacing national player of the year A'ja Wilson, the No. 1 overall WNBA draft pick.

The Gamecocks used a 23-4 run to take control in the first quarter, including a series of forced turnovers and fast-break chances that mostly led to baskets or free throws.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: Made 11 of 18 shots (61.1 percent) in a 33-10 second quarter. Hit 22 of 31 free throws.

Alabama State: Has dropped two straight to SEC teams, including an 87-35 loss at Kentucky. Shot 12 of 45 (26.7 percent)

THREE-GAME SERIES

The Gamecocks agreed to a 2-for-1 deal with Alabama State, hosting games last season and next season with a visit to Dunn-Oluver Acadome in between.

UP NEXT

South Carolina hosts in-state rival Clemson on Thursday night.

Alabama State hosts Samford on Thursday night.

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