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Wilson, No. 1 South Carolina rout NCCU 90-26

3296 days ago
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Freshman A'ja Wilson scored 16 points, reigning Southeastern Conference player of the year Tiffany Mitchell had 14 and South Carolina showed off its No. 1 ranking at home for the first time in a 90-26 victory over North Carolina Central on Monday night.

The Gamecocks (6-0) were already on their way to the Bahamas for the Junkanoo Jam tournament last Monday when they took over the top spot. After winning twice on Grand Bahama Island to retain No. 1 for a second week, South Carolina returned home and quickly put away the overmatched Eagles (2-4).

The Gamecocks led 14-3 in the first five minutes and went on to win their 22nd straight home game. Wilson added eight rebounds, although her shooting touch was off as she made just four of 12 shots. Mitchell had a career-high seven steals, surpassing the six she had in a win over Auburn last season.

Morgan Jones had seven points for the Eagles.

Asia Dozier had 14 points for South Carolina, including three of its five 3-pointers. Aleighsa Welch had 11 points and Elem Ibiam 10 to give the Gamecocks five players with double-figure scoring.

The Gamecocks beat North Carolina Central 79-27 last season and this one figured to be an even bigger mismatch with all South Carolina had back and its No. 2-ranked group of freshmen.

South Carolina's experience came through quickly. Mitchell and SEC newcomer of the year Alaina Coates had five points each while all-SEC first-teamer Welch had four after less than five minutes.

The Eagles missed nine of their first 10 shots and had 12 first-half turnovers.

Wilson, the 6-foot-5 forward, was off the mark a bit, going 2 of 6 from the field in the first 20 minutes. Still, newly chosen SEC freshman of the week had nine points in the period.

Dozier hit the Gamecocks' lone 3-pointer just before the buzzer to send them to the locker room ahead 39-16.


North Carolina Central: The Eagles came in averaging 19 turnovers a game, including 25 in their last game -- a 55-52 victory over UNC Asheville. They finished with 28 turnovers against South Carolina.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks had used three different starting lineups in their first three games. They since gone with the same starters in the past four with Wilson coming off the bench.


North Carolina Central opens Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Saturday night.

South Carolina plays host to Charlotte on Thursday night.