The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic - Sanford Pentagon - Sioux Falls, SD

No. 1 South Carolina holds off No. 21 Gonzaga 79-72

52 days ago
South Carolina Athletics
Photo: South Carolina Athletics

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Destanni Henderson scored a career-high 23 points and Zia Cooke added 16 to help No. 1 South Carolina top 21st-ranked Gonzaga 79-72 on Sunday in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic.

It was the second straight game that the Gamecocks faced a tough challenge from their opponent.

Henderson earned tournament MVP honors as she scored 19 points and had nine rebounds in the opening round win over South Dakota.

Against Gonzaga, Henderson was scoreless in the first half before going 6 for 12 in the third and fourth quarters. She was 10 for 13 from the free throw line over that span.

After Jill Townsend's 3-pointer for Gonzaga gave the Bulldogs a 62-60 lead with six minutes to play, South Carolina (3-0) got the lead back up to eight in the final 90 seconds. The Bulldogs hit nine 3-pointers, including one by Cierra Walker with 54 seconds to play to cut it to 74-70.

Jenn Wirth scored 16 points, two shy of her career high, to lead Gonzaga (0-1). Jill Townsend added 14 for the Bulldogs.

GAME CHANGER

With Gonzaga leading 66-65 and 3:25 remaining in the game Destanni Henderson sank a pair of free throws to give Carolina the lead. From there the Gamecocks went on a 9-0 run to push the lead to 74-66 with 1:33 to play, putting the game out of reach.

KEY STAT

The Gamecocks showed their prowess on the glass, outrebounding the Bulldogs 36-29, and held a 15-8 advantage in offensive rebounds. The Garnet and Black made the most of those offensive boards, scoring 18 second chance points compared to Gonzaga's six.

NOTABLES

  • Today's win gives South Carolina it's program-record 29th-straight win, and it's second-straight regular season tournament win after taking the top honors at the Paradise Jam last season.
  • Junior Destanni Henderson led all scorers with a career-high 23 points, all of them coming in the second half.
  • Henderson sank her first bucket of the game with 5:44 to play in the third and never looked back, finishing with 23 points, three rebounds and two assists.
  • Sophomore Zia Cooke once again set the tone for the Gamecocks early on, scoring 11 of her 16 points in the first quarter.
  • Sophomore Brea Beal had her best game of the season, pouring in 12 points and snatching seven rebounds, including five on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Sophomore Aliyah Boston did most of her damage in the second half, scoring six of her 10 points in the second half to help Carolina get some breathing room against the Zags.
  • Boston has now cracked double figures in 31 of her 36 games in the Garnet and Black.

UP NEXT

The Gamecocks (3-0) return to Columbia to host No. 8 NC State on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from Colonial Life Arena with the game airing on ESPN2.