COLUMBIA, S.C. — Aliyah Boston regarded as wholesome as ever, and that is hardly ever a great factor for No. 1 South Carolina’s opponents.
Boston had 18 factors, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks because the Gamecocks rallied from 10 factors right down to beat No. 15 UCLA 73-64 on Tuesday night time.
The reigning AP Participant of the Yr had missed the second half in a win over Hampton on Sunday after a tough fall. She returned to the bench in that sport with a strolling boot on her proper foot.
However Boston began and performed 35 minutes towards the Bruins (7-1) to assist the Gamecocks (7-0) overcome a 31-21 deficit proper earlier than halftime to win their seventeenth straight over a ranked opponent.
“I think the trainers did a great job with my ankle so it’s feeling pretty good,” mentioned Boston, the 6-foot-5 senior who posted her sixty fifth profession double-double and thirty second towards a ranked opponent.
Georgia Tech switch Kierra Fletcher had a double-double with 12 factors and 10 rebounds whereas the 6-foot-7 Kamilla Cardoso added a season-high 16 factors, 9 rebounds and 5 of the Gamecocks’ 15 blocked photographs.
Gamecocks coach Daybreak Staley did not know for positive till just a few hours earlier than tipoff that Boston can be wholesome sufficient to begin. Staley mentioned Boston wakened Monday feeling higher and that progressed into Tuesday’s pregame preparations.
The rating was tied at 47 coming into the fourth quarter. That is when the Gamecocks turned up their smothering protection, holding UCLA to only three subject objectives within the last 10 minutes.
“They were very disciplined in the fourth quarter with what they wanted to do,” UCLA coach Cori Shut mentioned. “We couldn’t stop that.”
Zia Cooke’s tiebreaking bucket with 5:37 left within the sport put South Carolina up for good at 54-52. The Gamecocks led by as many as 10 factors within the last minutes.
Charisma Osborne led UCLA with 24 factors, whereas freshman Kiki Rice scored 16.
Early on, UCLA and Rice upped the tempo and took issues proper into the guts of South Carolina’s smothering protection to construct a 10-point lead late within the second quarter.
South Carolina missed 11 straight photographs throughout one stretch, together with a sequence by which it had 4 consecutive probabilities from shut.
The Gamecocks confirmed some life within the last minutes as Boston had two blocks and a basket to chop the margin to 31-27 on the break. UCLA missed its final seven photographs of the quarter.
Staley mentioned she simplified the offense within the second half, main Fletcher to a number of made buckets and Boston and Cardoso to search out house beneath the basket.
“We made it really hard on them,” Staley mentioned.