The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Colonial Life Arena - Columbia, SC

No. 1 Gamecocks wear down Aggies

3240 days ago
Associated Press
Photo: Jeff Blake

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Freshman A'ja Wilson scored 18 points, defending Southeastern Conference player of the year Tiffany Mitchell added 16 points and Alaina Coates had 12 points and 11 rebounds as No. 1 South Carolina remained unbeaten with a 79-61 victory over 12th-ranked Texas A&M on Monday night.

The Gamecocks (19-0, 7-0 SEC), who remained on top of the rankings for a 10th straight poll earlier Monday, put away the Aggies with a 27-8 run in the second half after seeing their double-digit lead shrink to 40-38. That's when Mitchell made four consecutive free throws to start the run. She added four more points and Coates scored six points as South Carolina took control.

Texas A&M (16-5, 4-3) had been the last time to beat the Gamecocks at Colonial Life Arena in 2013. But the Aggies struggled shooting as 14-point-a-game scorer Courtney Williams was 3 of 21 from the field.

Achiri Ade led Texas A&M with 15 points. Courtney Walker, the SEC's fifth-leading scorer, had 10 points, nearly five fewer than her average.

Aleighsa Welch was South Carolina's fourth player in double figures, the senior starter scoring 12 before fouling out in the second half.

Coates, last year's SEC freshman of the year, had her eighth game this season with double figure points and rebounds. Wilson, the 6-foot-5 forward, had nine rebounds and two blocks for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina hasn't had too many problems in SEC play, winning its six previous games by an average of 21 points and just once letting the opponent reach 60 points.

Texas A&M, with the league's fifth and sixth highest scorers in Walker and Williams, figured to test that threshold. And when Williams hit a basket with 7:48 left in the opening half, the Aggies were up 24-20.

That's when the Gamecocks used their size to go a 14-0 run to wrest away control from Texas A&M. The 6-foot-5 Wilson began the surge with a basket before Tina Roy tied things with a driving layup and 6-4 Alaina Coates add another inside bucket to move in front. When Elem Ibiam, another 6-4 forward for South Carolina, hit a layup, the Gamecocks were up 34-24 and cruising.

Texas A&M's Jordan Jones hit a jumper with seven seconds left to cut South Carolina's lead to 39-31 at the half.

Wilson had 11 points in the opening half.

The Aggies opened the used a 7-1 run at the start of the second half to cut the lead to 40-38 before South Carolina's back-breaking run.


Texas A&M: Aggies athletic director Eric Hyman held the same job at South Carolina for seven years. He hired Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley away from Temple after the 2007-08 season.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks won their 27th straight at home, tying Connecticut for the nation's longest active streak. No. 1 South Carolina plays at the second-ranked Huskies on Feb. 9. The team's last loss at the Colonial Life Arena was to the Aggies, 50-48, on Feb. 10, 2013.


Texas A&M: returns home to play Auburn on Sunday

South Carolina: continues its homestand Thursday night against Alabama.