Columbia, S.C. — It was all Aliyah Boston on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. The 6-5 center had 20 points and 10 rebounds for her 71st career double-double and No. 1 South Carolina won its 24th straight with a 81-50 victory over Missouri on Sunday. Boston needs one more double-double to hold the programs career record.
The Tigers were not intimidated by the No.1 Team in the country. The last time these to teams met, the Tigers came out victorious. Missouri defeated the Gamecocks in last years meeting 70-69.
Missouri came out shooting from the field and ready to go head to head with the Gamecocks in the paint. Lauren Hansen, The Tigers leading scorer in the game, had three 3-pointers in the opening quarter and the game was tied at 17 in the final minute of the first quarter.
Senior guard Lauren Hansen (Long Island, N.Y.) paced the Tigers’ offense by scoring in double figures for the 15th time this season, producing 14 points while being a major reason the Tigers played a close game early.
South Carolina pushed the tempo and left the Tigers in the dust with a 30-11 burst. Zia Cooke had a pair of 3s for the Gamecocks and backup point guard Raven Johnson led charge with four assists and two steals in the second quarter.
One of Johnson’s top passes was a bullet pass from the right side of the key through several defenders to Brea Beal for an easy layup.
Missouri typically plays South Carolina with a physical style and that was evident in the first quarter but couldn’t sustain that type of play for four quarters.
After the game coach Staley had something to say about the matter. “You have to combat aggression with aggression” said coach Staley when referring to the physical style of play that the Tigers bring to the floor. “They challenge you to just stay there for forty minutes, if you don’t they create that edge.”
After Mizzou kept the deficit within single digits midway through the second quarter, South Carolina took control of the contest with a 12-0 run to end the first half and sustained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest.
The Tigers had just three field goals and one rebound in the second quarter as the Gamecocks led 47-28 going into the break. South Carolina kept piling points on in the second half to lead by as many as 33.
South Carolina continued to build its lead in the third quarter as Mizzou only scored nine points in the period. The Tigers outscored the Gamecocks, 13-12 in the fourth quarter, though the deficit was too large to overcome in the final period.
With the win, the Gamecocks handed Missouri it’s 3rd straight conference loss. Zia Cooke added 16 points and Ashlyn Watkins chipped in 13 for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks improve to 18-0 on the season. 6-0 in SEC competition this season.
The Gamecocks travel to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (9-9) Thursday Jan. 19th. The Commodores are 0-4 in SEC play.