Sixth-ranked South Carolina routed Savannah State 70-30 on Wednesday.
The 2-9 Tigers never had a heartbeat against the Gamecocks (10-1), who did Savannah State a favor by playing at their place, but certainly not on the court. It was 7-0 before the Tigers scored, 19-7 at the end of the first quarter and 39-12 at halftime.
A’ja Wilson led the Gamecocks with 18 points while Allisha Gray had 12, four assists and a game-best five steals. Freshman Tyasha Harris tied her career high with 10 points, adding five rebounds.
Kenyata Hendrix had 15 points to lead the Tigers (2-9). She crossed the 1,000-point milestone, becoming the third player in school history to reach that mark in the Division I era. She was 6-for-16 from the field, while the rest of the team was 5-for-35.
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Savannah State shot 21.6 percent for the game, as the Gamecocks dominated with defense. USC held Savannah State to single-digits in three of the four quarters.
The 30 points allowed was the low for the season for a Gamecocks opponent. That allowed USC to post its largest margin of victory on the road to date this season, prevailing with the 40-point advantage.
Center Alaina Coates and forward Doniyah Cliney had a game-high seven rebounds apiece for USC, which finished with a 50-25 advantage on the glass.
The Gamecocks got off to a quick start, hitting their first three shots. They padded their lead by forcing turnovers and scoring off the steals. Gray doubled her career high in the first half with four of the team’s nine swipes in the first 20 minutes.
USC finished the game with 12 steals, scoring 21 points on 16 Savannah State turnovers.
Leading 19-7 lead after the first quarter, the Gamecocks opened the second with 11 consecutive points and closed it on a 9-3 run that sent them into the locker room up 39-12. Wilson and Davis scored the Gamecocks’ final points in the quarter.
It was more of the same in the third quarter, as the Gamecocks outscored the Tigers 21-11. USC’s defense continued to give Savannah State fits, as it scored seven points in the final quarter and finished the game 3-for-15 from the 3-point line.
Carolina recorded 19 assists and shot 48.4 percent from the field in the victory. The Gamecocks held a 6-1 advantage in blocks and held the Tigers to five free throw attempts.