Greenville, S.C. — Aliyah Boston turned in yet another double-double in South Carolina’s match up with No. 2 seed Maryland Terrapins. Boston scored 22 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow senior Zia Cooke chipped in 18 points and top-seeded South Carolina used its smothering defense to take control in the second quarter, dominating Maryland 86-75 on Monday night to reach its third straight Final Four.
Both Cooke and Boston were selected to the all-regional team for the 2023 Greenville Regional NCAA semifinal.
Coach Dawn Staley’s team improved to 36-0 for the season with its 42nd straight victory dating to last year’s NCAA title run. The Gamecocks are on their way to the Final Four to attempt to repeat as champions and completing the 10th undefeated season in the women’s game.
South Carolina will play Iowa and do-it-all star Caitlin Clark in the national semifinals in Dallas on Friday night.
The Gamecocks celebrated when it was over. It’s their fifth Final Four since 2015, all under Staley. She’ll try for her third national title next week.
With a healthy Miller and an offense averaging nearly 80 points a game, the Terrapins were ready to take on the big, imposing Gamecocks. Maryland pushed the pace early, disrupting South Carolina’s No. 1 defense and was ahead 21-15 as an edgy, pro-Gamecock crowd wasn’t sure what it was watching.
Senior Abbey Meyers was determined to leave it all on the court, and she did. Meyers 14-point effort just wasn’t enough. Miller led the Terps’ with 24 points and 5 boards.
The Gamecocks outscored the Terps 23-9 in the second quarter to lead 38-30 at the break.
Maryland got two quick baskets after the break to cut South Carolina’s lead to 48-42. But the Gamecocks answered with a 14-3 burst to take control for good.
Miller led the Terps, looking for their first trip to the Final Four since 2015 but they couldn’t sustain runs down the stretch. Maryland shot 50% for the game, yet couldn’t hold up down low against the Gamecocks.
South Carolina outrebounded the Terps 48-26 and 25-7 on the offensive glass. The Gamecocks head to Dallas looking to repeat.