MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Tiffany Mitchell led South Carolina with 17 points Sunday, and the Gamecocks beat East Carolina 88-57.
No. 2 South Carolina (11-0) took control of a physical game in the second quarter, outscoring East Carolina 23-11. The Pirates (6-6) made just three of their 15 shots in the quarter with just one basket in the lane.
Mitchell has been consistently getting her game back in shape since foot surgery in August. The reigning Southeastern Conference player of the year was 5-of-9 from the field -- the first time this season she has shot better than 50 percent.
A'ja Wilson returned from resting shin splints for two games to add 15 points and 10 rebounds. Alania Coates added 10 points and 15 rebounds.
I'tiana Taylor scored 16 points despite picking up three fouls in the first quarter. Jada Payne added 14 for East Carolina.
East Carolina shot just 28 percent and South Carolina 48 percent. The Gamecocks scored 48 points in the paint to the Pirates' 18 points.
Playing their third game in three days, the Pirates decided to slow South Carolina down by playing physical. And it worked for most of the first quarter. The Gamecocks led 21-15 after the first 10 minutes. Khadijah Sessions had two charging calls on back-to-back possessions and sat out the rest of the first half.
But two East Carolina players picked up three fouls in the first quarter and got a technical. One played picked up coach Heather Macy in her arms as she charged at the referees after the T and placed her back by the bench.
East Carolina: The Pirates have not played at home since Nov. 20. They will play nine games in 42 days on the road ... East Carolina lost all three of its games over the weekend, also losing to Chattanooga on Friday and Ohio on Saturday in Wilmington, North Carolina.
South Carolina: Coates has had at least a double-double in her past three games ... The Gamecocks face one more American Athletic Conference opponent this year. No. 1 Connecticut comes to Columbia on Feb. 8 ... The Gamecocks now have a winning 7-6 record in their nearly annual trip to Myrtle Beach ... South Carolina has lost just once to East Carolina in 16 games -- the first time they played in February 1975.
East Carolina finishes its marathon road swing Dec. 30 with its American Athletic Conference opener at Tulsa.
South Carolina hosts Elon on Tuesday.