Now that the postseason is over, Aliyah Boston is trying to set the tone in South Carolina for the top-ranked South Carolina players.
Boston scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to record her 22nd consecutive double-double as the Gamecocks defeated Arkansas 76-54 in Friday’s quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference women’s tournament.
Boston stated, “I’m trying to be dominant.” Boston said, “And that’s scoring baskets and rebounding. I’m trying to do that.”
The Gamecocks (28-1), who won their SEC regular-season championship before tipoff took the first step towards a seventh tournament title in eight year against the team that had previously beaten them in this event. South Carolina was defeated by Arkansas in 2019, with the Gamecocks remaining undefeated. They won the 2020 and 2021 tourneys.
South Carolina will face fourth-seeded Mississippi on Saturday in the semifinal. This is the ninth appearance of the Gamecocks in the semifinal in 10 seasons. Mississippi defeated No. 23 Florida 70-60.
The Gamecocks have now won 16 consecutive games.
was the SEC Player and Defensive Player, of the Year. She had five assists and five steals, as well as two blocks. Victaria Saxton added 11 rebounds, while Laeticia Amihere scored 16 points. Ten Gamecocks scored more than three points.
Mike Neighbors, Arkansas coach, said that it was great to see South Carolina represent the SEC and be dominant. Friday was a bad day for the Gamecocks.
Neighbors stated that it was difficult to face these men a few times per year, as they are very physically demanding, talented, and well-coach. They have everything that makes them the No. They are the No. 1 team in America.
Arkansas (18-13), snapped a winning streak of two games in what Neighbors called an excellent gauge for his Razorbacks.
Samara Spencer was the Razorbacks’ leading scorer with 10 points.
Before Boston scored, the Gamecocks missed six of their first six shots. She scored five points and grabbed five boards to give South Carolina a lead of 24-12 at halftime. Arkansas outscored South Carolina by 17-16 in the second quarter. They pulled within nine twice before South Carolina took a lead of 40-29 at halftime.
Arkansas pulled within 44-37 after a 3-pointer from Sasha Goforth, with 6:49 remaining in the third. The Gamecocks only made three shots in the quarter. However, they were 10 of 12 at free throw line and ended the third with a 12-4 run to take a 56-41 advantage into the fourth.
In the last few minutes, the Gamecocks extended their lead to as high as 23 points. The Gamecocks had a huge advantage at the free throw line (23 out of 28), compared to Arkansas (9 out of 15), as three Razorbacks were left with four fouls each.
Dawn Staley, South Carolina coach, said Lisa Boyer, assistant to her, told her that the Gamecocks were scoring 18% in the third period.
Staley stated, “You can’t have too much empty possessions when playing teams in our league,” and that he felt the team did a great job of balancing missed shots with getting to free throw line.
Perhaps it was the slow start, but both teams began very slowly. The Gamecocks missed nine out of 11 shots, and they didn’t score until Boston scored on a putback at 7:56 in the first quarter. The Razorbacks began 1 of 10, and missed their first 7 3-pointers.
Saxton attempted to pass the ball up court after a defensive rebound, but Brea Beal didn’t see. The ball bounced out from bounds.
PLAYING AND WRAPPED
South Carolina center Kamilla cardoso was unable to attend the Gamecocks’ last game of the regular-season due to an “upper-body” injury. She was confined to just six minutes during a win over Texas A&M, on February 24. Cardoso was wearing a black brace around her left shoulder when she came off the bench.
Cardoso ended the game with seven rebounds and five points.
Arkansas prepares for the announcement of the NCAA Tournament bracket.
Saturday’s semifinals for the Gamecocks.