Gamecocks unveil National Title banner, beat Alabama St.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A’ja Wilson scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds to lead No. 4 South Carolina to a 99-31 win over Alabama State on Friday night.

The party started before final warmups, with SEC championship rings passed out and the title banner unveiled in the rafters.

And it continued after tip. Alabama State’s Amber Hunt hit a 3 to put the Lady Hornets (0-1) up 3-2. South Carolina (1-0) would score the next 23 points. The Gamecocks also ended the first half with another 23-0 run.

The 68-point margin was the second-largest win at South Carolina for coach Dawn Staley.

The Gamecocks forced 29 turnovers and held Alabama State to 20 percent (11-of-54) shooting.

South Carolina returned just two starters from their first national title team and had three players selected in the first 10 picks of this year’s WNBA draft. But Wilson, an all-American the past two seasons, is back after 11 double-doubles last season. The senior is joined by Lindsey Spann, a senior transfer from Penn State, who scored 16 in her Gamecock debut.

Up next, the Gamecocks #15 Maryland on the road Monday at 8 p.m. You can watch that on ESPN2,

The AP contributed to the writing of this article.