Greenville, S.C. -- No. 1 seed South Carolina (30-0, 16-0 SEC) overpowered No. 8 seed Arkansas, 93-66, in the quarterfinals of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament on Friday at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.
The Gamecocks' 93 points matched the most points they've scored in an SEC Tournament game, previously doing so against Kentucky in the 2016 semifinals, as five players scored in double digits. South Carolina outperformed Arkansas on the boards (51-26) and dished out more assists (27-11).
Laeticia Amihere scored a season-high 16 points while Victaria Saxton contributed 19 on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, scoring more in this matchup than she did in all of the 2022 SEC Tournament. Kamilla Cardoso logged 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists while Kierra Fletcher recorded 12 points, six rebounds and three assists on the day.
Aliyah Boston's 11-point, 10-rebound double-double performance marked her eighth career double-double in the SEC Tournament, tying Sylvie Fowles for the most by an SEC player over the last 20 seasons. It also marked her 79th career double-double, snapping a tie with Georgia's Janet Harris for second-most in SEC history.
Both teams came on the court with offense in mind as the Hogs sunk six of their 17 attempts in the first quarter, draining three of 10 shots from beyond the arc, while the Gamecocks hit nine of their 20 shots from the field that quarter.
Chrissy Carr kicked off the Hogs' busy first quarter with a pair of free throws to give them a quick two-point advantage, and their only lead on the day. Erynn Barnum hit a triple to tie it at seven before Aliyah Boston's jumper sparked South Carolina's 10-0 run which was fueled by two Brea Beal 3-pointers.
Makayala Daniels drained back-to-back threes to close in, 17-13, but the Gamecocks extended their lead to seven, 24-17, before the quarter ended. Despite a valiant Arkansas effort, the Gamecocks maintained their season-long streak in limiting their SEC opponents to less than 20 points within a quarter.
South Carolina slowed down the Hogs' offensive attempts in the second quarter, holding them to 31.3 field goal shooting percentage compared to its own of 52.9%.
Fletcher drilled one last shot from distance before the halftime buzzer to give the Gamecocks a 15-point advantage, 45-30.
By halftime, the Gamecocks had accrued 24 points in the paint compared to the Razorbacks' 10. Saxton racked up 12 points in the first half, matching her season high for a single game.
In the second half, Saxton set the tone for South Carolina as she tallied five points within the first two minutes to keep slipping away from the Hogs, 50-32.
However, Saylor Poffenbarger refused to go quietly, tacking on seven to put the Hogs at a 52-37 difference early in the half. Samara Spencer joined in on the effort, laying one in before swiping the ball from Saxton to put up another layup, 56-41, with 3:25 to go in the third quarter.
Spencer laid in yet another before Amihere responded with two layups of her own to push South Carolina further away, 60-44.
As the third quarter came to a close, Spencer dropped in a three, but Cardoso laid in the final shot of the period to set the Gamecocks ahead by 15, 62-47.
South Carolina never slowed down, logging a 9-0 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to further extend their lead, 71-49.
Poffenbarger and Daniels each sank their third 3-pointer of the contest, bringing the Razorbacks within 20, 75-55, with 5:41 left to play.
Two pairs of free throws by Poffenbarger along with a triple by Daniels contributed to Arkansas' offensive attempts in the fourth, but South Carolina continued its consistent pace to maintain their lead, 83-62.
The Hogs were led by Poffenbarger's 22 points followed by Spencers' 16 and Daniels' 12 as the three combined for nine triples.
The Gamecocks began to fill in from the bench, increasing their advantage down to the final seconds.
South Carolina will face 4-seed Ole Miss (23-7, 11-5 SEC) in the semifinals of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday at 4:30 P.M. ET and will be televised on SEC Network.
Arkansas (21-12, 7-9 SEC) is eliminated from the tournament.