Gamecocks Blow Past UNC Asheville in NCAA Opener

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Allisha Gray scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds to lead top-seeded South Carolina to an easy win over No. 16 seed UNC Asheville.

The Gamecocks (28-4) were missing Alania Coates their best rebounder and half of their twin tower frontcourt. But Gray, a 6-foot guard and transfer from North Carolina, scored 20 of her points in the paint and tied her best rebounding night of her career with eight by halftime.

A’ja Wilson added 18 points in a game where she was expected to shoulder the burden of replacing Coates’ 10.7 rebounds a game. Coates will miss the rest of the NCAA Tournament with an ankle injury.

Khalia Webb led UNC Asheville (19-15) with 12 points, while Chatori Major added 10 points before fouling out of the final game of her career.