Boston scores 29, leads No. 1 Gamecocks past NC A&T 79-42
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Aliyah Boston scored a career-high 29 points on 13-of-13 shooting and powered No. 1 South Carolina to a 79-42 victory over North Carolina A&T on Monday night.
The Gamecocks improved to 8-0 for the first time since the 2015-2016 season. And, they did it through their 6-foot-5 All-American junior, who had 18 of South Carolina’s 27 straight points over a 10-minute stretch of the second and third quarters to put away the winless Aggies (0-6).
Boston added 14 rebounds, one off her season high, and three blocked shots during her 20 minutes of action. She also made both her foul shots, each finishing off a three-point play.
South Carolina was a unanimous No. 1 pick in the latest rankings released earlier Monday. But, except for Boston, the Gamecocks didn’t look the part early on against the Aggies.
North Carolina A&T drew within 18-15 on Chanin Scott’s jumper with 8:11 left before half. That’s when Boston led a 22-0 surge to the break, scoring 11 points including her fourth 3-pointer.
When Laeticia Amihere drove the basket for a layup with 1.4 seconds left, South Carolina was up 40-15.
Boston continued her dominant play after the break, scoring South Carolina’s first nine points of the third quarter. Her inside jumper with 6:50 left in the period broke her previous high of 28, set against Florida last New Year’s Eve.
Boston’s 13 field goals were also a career best, topping the 11 she made in that Florida win last season.
Boston came out soon after to loud cheers and spent the rest of the game pulling for her top-ranked teammates.
Amihere finished with nine points and Zia Cooke 8 for South Carolina.
North Carolina A&T is off to its worst start in coach Tarrell Robinson’s 10 seasons. Scott had seven points to lead the Aggies, who shot 22% (14 of 63) from the field.
• Aliyah Boston could not be stopped in the first half, hitting all nine field goal attempts for 20 of the team’s 40 points. The junior post also totaled nine rebounds and three blocks in just 15 minutes on the court. She is the first Gamecock with a 20-point half since A’ja Wilson scored 29 in the second half against Notre Dame on Nov. 26, 2017.
• After N.C. A&T cut the Gamecock lead to three, 18-15, with 8:09 to play in the second quarter, South Carolina went on a 22-0 run to end the period, with Boston accounting for 11 of the 22 points.
• Including a 7-0 start to the third quarter, the team’s 29-0 run is the team’s longest of the season to date; the previous best was a 16-0 run against Elon on Nov. 26. The team’s last run of 20 points or more came against Vanderbilt, a 22-0 run on Jan. 14, 2021.
• Boston finished the night with a new career high of 29 points and hit all 13 field goal attempts in the game. That ties her with Brantley Southers (10-of-10 vs. Auburn, 1/30/84) as the only Gamecocks in program history to make 10 or more field goals without a miss. In NCAA history, only eight women in the history of college basketball have more field goals made without a miss in a single game.
• Along with her eye-popping offensive numbers, Boston also led the team with 14 rebounds (five offensive), three blocks and two steals. All in just 20 minutes of playing time.
• South Carolina pulled down a season-high 53 rebounds and finished with a +20 margin on the glass. It is the fourth time this season that the team out-rebounded an opponent by 20 or more.
• The defense held N.C. A&T to just a 22 percent success rate from the field in the game, the lowest allowed by the Gamecocks so far this season. This is the third opponent to shoot less than 30 percent in a game.
• The Gamecocks hit 55 percent of their 2-point field goal attempts and outscored A&T 46-16 in points in the paint. This is back-to-back games with a +30 point advantage in the category, and it’s the second-highest total of the season (48 vs. Buffalo).
• Elysa Wesolek led the team in scoring in the fourth quarter, hitting 3-of-4 field goals for six points. The three field goals ties her career high.
• Just four games after setting a new career high for assists, Victaria Saxton set it again Monday night with a team-high four helpers.
South Carolina caps the week of action with a home game against Kansas State on Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. The game will be part of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge, broadcasted on the SEC Network+ online stream.