Gamecocks' offense proves to be too much for Rebels
OXFORD, Miss. - Destanni Henderson tied her career high with 23 points and Aliyah Boston had 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead No. 1 South Carolina to a 71-57 win over Mississippi in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Boston extended her record streak of double-doubles to 21 for the Gamecocks (27-1, 15-1 Southeastern Conference), who had already clinched the regular-season title and No. 1 seed entering the league tournament in Nashville.
They found themselves in a tight game until a dominant closing stretch against the Rebels (22-7, 10-6), who had won four straight. Then South Carolina put it away with a 12-0 run.
Shakira Austin led Ole Miss with 20 points and seven rebounds and scored all of the Rebels' eight points in the fourth. She made 8 of 14 shots.
Henderson had previously scored 23 against Gonzaga in November 2020. She also had eight assists on Sunday.
Boston had broken the SEC record with her 20th straight double-double Thursday night against Texas A&M.
Zia Cooke scored 12 points and Brea Beal had 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Gamecocks.
Lashonda Monk scored 16 for Ole Miss and Angel Baker chipped in 11. Mimi Reid didn't score but her five assists gave her a fourth straight season with 100-plus.
Ole Miss cut a seven-point halftime deficit down to 42-39 on a jump shot by Monk two minutes into the third quarter. Then the Rebels twice pulled to within four points early in the fourth before South Carolina scored 12 straight points to push its lead to double digits for the first time.
The Rebels went more than six minutes without a field goal in the fourth.
- It was another strong start for Zia Cooke, the junior fit right in with an up-paced tempo to start the game. She scored eight points in a span of eight minutes to start the game and finished with 12.
- Destanni Henderson put in a full game's worth of production into the first half. The senior point guard surpassed her season averages in 20 minutes of action, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting with five assists. 10 of the 16 points and three assists came in the second quarter.
- Powered by its two guards, the Gamecock offense made 9-of-15 shots in the second quarter and shot 51 percent overall in the first half.
- Aliyah Boston came just a point and rebound shy of a first-half double-double but still got it early in the third quarter. The junior finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds in 32 minutes.
- In the second half, Boston reached another impressive career milestone. With her 13th rebound, the post reached 1,000 career rebounds, making her just the fifth woman in program history to reach the mark.
- Henderson hit a 3 to match her career high of 23 points with 4:03 to play in the third quarter. She also set a career high of nine made field goals and distributed a season-high eight assists with just two turnovers in 38 minutes.
- In the final five games of the regular season, Henderson averaged 14.6 points per game shooting 47.7 percent from the floor with a 2.71 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Brea Beal did more than hold her own as another perimeter option for the team, scoring a season-high 11 points while also contributing eight rebounds, a career-high four assists, two blocks and zero turnovers. The junior logged all 20 minutes in the second half.
- South Carolina used a 12-0 run to break away from a tight 57-53 lead in the fourth quarter, with LeLe Grissett scoring six of the 12 points for the Gamecocks. The fifth-year senior was key to the team's late push on defense as well, earning 12 minutes of playing time in the second half and 18 overall.
- The offense's flow is locking in at the right time, South Carolina had 40 assists compared to 15 turnovers this week in the final two games of the regular season. The Gamecocks assisted on 63 percent of its made field goals in the two road wins, at Texas A&M and Ole Miss.
- Facing an Ole Miss defense that entered the game averaging 18.9 turnovers forced per game, the Gamecocks committed just eight while scoring 14 points off nine Rebel turnovers.
As the number one overall seed in the upcoming SEC tournament, South Carolina receives a double-bye and will play its first game on Friday, March 4. For updates on opponents and game times, follow the Gamecocks on social media and GamecocksOnline.com.